TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) - The company that runs the S.S. Badger ferryboat is seeking federal permission to continue releasing coal ash into Lake Michigan while it looks for an alternative energy source.
Lake Michigan Carferry filed a permit application Thursday with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, which has ordered the company to stop dumping waste ash by December.
Coal ash contains low volumes of heavy metals such as arsenic and mercury. Company president Bob Manglitz said the amounts of those contaminants in the Badger's ash are far lower than what others put into the lake.
The Badger began its sailing season Thursday, hauling passengers and vehicles between Ludington, Michigan and Manitowoc. If EPA denies the permit, the ship may be grounded after this year.
The company is researching a switch to liquefied natural gas.
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