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SS Badger future in question after provision stripped from U.S. House bill


WASHINGTON D.C. (WTAQ) - A provision slipped into the House of Representatives Coast Guard spending bill to save the SS Badger car ferry on Lake Michigan has been removed. 

The provison was eliminated to get the spending bill in line with the Senate version of the bill that now heads President Obama.

The re-authorization bill included a provision co-sponsored by Rep. Tom Petri that would allow any ship that is a National Historic Landmark to keep operating regardless of any expiring permits.

That specfically fits the bill for the SS Badger, a coal powered car ferry that has been running since 1953 between Manitowoc to Ludington, Michigan.

Since 2008, the ferry has had operating under a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System Vessel General Permit. The operators have until December 19th to come up with a way to stop dumping coal ash overboard.

The EPA is currently reviewing a request to allow operations to continue in 2013.