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EPA announces two-year extension of permit for S.S. Badger

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MANITOWOC, WI (WTAQ) - The S.S. Badger Car Ferry could get two more years to adopt a cleaner way to get rid of its coal ash emissions.

The federal EPA Friday announced a tentative two-year extension for the 60-year-old boat to end the dumping of coal ash into Lake Michigan.

A previous four-year grace period had expired last December. The EPA will hold a 30 day comment period before the extension is final.

The Badger carries vehicles and passengers across Lake Michigan between Manitowoc and Ludington Michigan.

It’s the nation’s last operating coal-fired steamship – and Badger officials have been studying ways to either burn natural gas, or find a safe way on board to dump the coal ash.

EPA regional administrator Susan Hedman says the extension is the fastest way to resolve the matter – and the most certain way to halt the ash dumping.

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