SS Badger Plans 2013 Schedule, But Will It Use It?

This could get interesting.

The SS Bad­ger announced its sail­ing sched­ule for 2013 , although it does not yet have a per­mit to operate.

The ferry oper­ates between Man­i­towoc and Lud­ing­ton, Mich., with the first sail sched­uled for May 17.

The SS Bad­ger is a coal-fired ves­sel, and it dumps coal ash into Lake Michi­gan. Its pre­vi­ous per­mit expired last month. It has applied to the U.S. Envi­ron­men­tal Agency for a dif­fer­ent type of per­mit, but a deci­sion has not been made on that.

The EPA says it expects to issue a pre­lim­i­nary deci­sion by March 1, and will then ask for pub­lic com­ment about that decision.

With the envi­ron­men­tal left (and Illi­nois Sen­a­tor Dick Durbin) hell­bent on shut­ting the ferry down, who knows what the end rul­ing might be.  The own­ers of the Bad­ger have been try­ing for years to con­vert to nat­ural gas or diesel, but has lacked the cap­i­tal needed to make the conversion.

At stake is at least 500 jobs on both side of the lake and mil­lions in tourism dol­lars for both Michi­gan and Wisconsin.

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