Lake Michigan carferry future murky after expiration of fed permit allowing coal ash dumping

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TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. - A federal permit allowing the S.S. Badger ferryboat to dump coal ash into Lake Michigan has expired, and it's uncertain whether the vessel will be able to operate next year.

The 410-foot Badger hauls vehicles and passengers across the lake between Ludington, Mich., and Manitowoc, Wis., from May to October. Four years ago, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency allowed the company to continue discharging its ash into the water while developing another disposal method or fuel source.

Wednesday was the deadline to stop dumping the ash. The company has applied for another permit, and EPA says it will make a tentative decision by March 1. It will seek comments from the public before making a final decision.

The ferry company says it still expects to be in business next year.

Organizations: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, EPA

Geographic location: Lake Michigan, TRAVERSE CITY, Ludington, Mich. Manitowoc, Wis.

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