Regulatory change would allow hazmats on Ambassador
By Curt Guyette
Published: January 23, 2013
There are two family-owned businesses that provide a way to move trucks across the river between Detroit and Windsor. One is big, well-known and politically powerful, the other small and relatively obscure.
Now one of them is seeking a regulatory change that, if approved, would likely put the other out of business.
Should the rest of us care?
Here’s what’s going on:
The Detroit International Bridge Company, which owns the Ambassador Bridge and is controlled by billionaire Manuel “Matty” Moroun and his family, is currently prohibited from allowing trucks carrying hazardous materials from using the aging span that connects Detroit and Windsor.
That’s been the law since the Ambassador Bridge was built in 1929.
Because trucks can’t use the tunnel running under the Detroit River, the only legal way to transport hazardous materials across this crucial border crossing is the Detroit-Windsor Truck Ferry, located near Zug Island, downriver from the Ambassador.
John Ward and his son Gregg started the ferry operation on Earth Day in 1990.
“We chose this start-up date … to symbolize our commitment to environmental stewardship and a belief that marine transportation can reduce highway congestion, air pollution and consumption of finite fossil fuels,” Gregg Ward told Congress back in 2007, when he offered testimony about border security in regard to transportation issues, calling for more government oversight.
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