WASHINGTON, WI (WTAQ) - A special provision slipped into a U.S. House Coast Guard re-authorization bill would allow the S.S. Badger car ferry to continue throwing its coal ash into Lake Michigan.
That's as long as the nearly 60-year-old boat stays afloat.
The car ferry is the only remaining coal fired steamship on the Great Lakes. But the Environmental Protection Agency is cracking down on the pollution from the coal ash, and the operators haven’t invested in an alternative.
The provision was slipped in by Wisconsin Rep. Tom Petri, but is facing opposition in the Senate by Sen. Dick Durbin. The two sides are hammering out the final details of the bill.
The car ferry operates Manitowoc and Ludington, MI.
Without the provision, the ferry’s federal permit expires on Dec. 19th.