UNDATED (WHBL) - An historic car ferry that runs on Lake Michigan could continue its controversial practice of dumping coal ash under a provision in a Coast Guard budget bill. The New York Times said Fond du Lac House Republican Tom Petri and Michigan Representative Bill Huizenga authored an amendment to force the E-P-A to let the S-S Badger keep dumping coal ash into Lake Michigan for as long as the boat runs. The ferry runs from Manitowoc to Ludington Michigan. The boat’s current operating license expires December 19th, and the E-P-A wants the Badger to have cleaner emissions by then. Environmentalists say the boat’s polluting the lake, while historians say the Badger should be allowed to keep running as the last steam-ship of its kind. Illinois Senate Democrat Dick Durbin has blocked the budget item while the bill’s final details are being negotiated between both houses. Durbin calls it an earmark, because the amendment only applies to the Badger. But Neil Wright, of Petri’s office, disagrees. He says it’s not porkbecause no federal funding is involved. Also, Wright said shutting down the ferry could force vehicles to pollute while driving around the southern end of Lake Michigan.
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