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SS Badger season opens May 16th with cleaner burning coal

MANITOWOC, WI (WTAQ) - The car ferry that crosses Lake Michigan at Manitowoc will open its season on May 16th with a cleaner burning coal, as ordered by the federal government.  

The owners of the SS Badger spent over a million dollars to install new combustion controls, as part of a consent decree with the federal EPA and the U.S. Justice Department.  

The boat must reduce its coal ash emissions this year, and eliminate them next year.  

The Badger has carried vehicles for decades between Manitowoc and Ludington Michigan. It's the nation's last steam fired coal burning vessel. CEO Bob Manglitz said the new controls were installed over the winter -- and after the Badger sets sail, they'll know if it will reduce coal usage by the goal of 10 to 15 percent.  

Manglitz said it would not only meet the terms of the consent decree, it would also save on fuel costs.

The Badger was ordered a few years ago to stop dumping coal ash into Lake Michigan. It has received federal extensions while looking for the most efficient method.

(Story courtesy of Wheeler News Service)