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The S.S. Badger will continue to cross Lake Michigan

the S.S. Badger, the last of its kind.
the S.S. Badger, the last of its kind.

LUDINGTON  (WKZO) -- A deal has been struck between the EPA and the company that operates the S.S. Badger, to allow the car ferry more time to install a system to prevent the ship from dumping its coal ash in the lake.

The ferry is the last coal burning ship in U.S. waters and it no longer meets Federal pollution discharge levels. It will have to reduce the amount of coal ash it dumps this year and next by 15% and eliminate it altogether by January 1, 2015.  By that date they will have to install an ash containment system. 

The EPA says it begins reducing the ash sooner than if they went through a lengthy court fight, which the owners of the Ferry were threatening.

The Ferry service supports 200 jobs. 

The ship's owner, Lake Michigan Carferry will also be assessed a 25-thousand dollar fine.The ferry operates between Ludington and Manitowoc, Wisconsin.

There will be a 30-day comment period and then a federal judge will have to sign off on the consent decree.