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S.S. Badger makes maiden voyage of the 2013 season

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MANITOWOC, WI (WTAQ) - The S.S. Badger car ferry made its first trip across Lake Michigan Monday, under a new two-year deal which lets the 60-year-old boat keep dumping waste ash into the big lake.

A crowd showed up Monday morning in Ludington Michigan, as the 410-foot Badger got ready to head to Manitowoc.

About 100 passengers were on board, plus trucks hauling parts of wind energy turbines.

The Badger – the oldest steamship on the Great Lakes – was supposed to shut down after last year, unless it could find a cleaner way to dump its coal ash.

The company which owns the Badger says it’s working on alternatives, but they’re not ready yet.

The federal EPA granted its two-year extension in March.

Meanwhile, Milwaukee’s Lake Express Ferry is scheduled to begin its car and passenger transporting service to Muskegon Michigan and back on Saturday.

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