A cleaner sailing season ahead for coal-fired SS Badger
The Lake Michigan car ferry SS Badger is set to return to service this week.
This comes after more than $2 million in upgrades as part of a deal between Lake Michigan Car Ferry and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Improvements to the coal-fired steamship include a new ash retention system.
The Badger has drawn criticism from environmental groups for dumping leftover ash into the water along its route between Ludington and Manitowoc, Wisconsin.
Terri Brown with Lake Michigan Car Ferry said the ship has been upgraded with a new system that collects and stores the ash on board.
"There's no discharge that will be occurring this year," Brown said. "The previous system has been completely removed from the vessel, so that's just not even possible."
Brown said installing the custom system was difficult, but the ship passed inspection and is ready to go.
"We're just really excited that we're moving forward and are able to share this experience with future generations," she said.
The Badger is the last coal-fired steamship operating on the Great Lakes.
It's been in service since 1952.