LUDINGTON, Mich. - 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.
The company and its backers note the historic nature of the ship - it's the only coal-fired ferry operating in the country - and say the amount of pollutants are relatively small. Critics say the company has had time to switch its fueling method - and are critical of the heavy metals contained in the ash dumped in the lake.
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