"LUDINGTON, Mich. -- Recent revelations that the S.S. Badger dumps all of its coal ash waste -- hundreds of tons each sailing season -- into Lake Michigan have caught many people by surprise.
Especially, that the practice is legal.
Environmentalists, research scientists and coal industry authorities have said they never realized what the Ludington-based ferry boat has been doing with its waste.
They assumed the historic steamship's ash was off-loaded and put into a licensed landfill. Such a procedure would keep the waste out of public waters.
Thanks to the last-minute lobbying of the Lake Michigan Carferry company in late 2008, the Badger will be able to continue the lake-dumping practice through the 2012 sailing season, according to new EPA environmental permits.
After that, the ferry company must find a solution, or shut down."