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Lake Michigan Carferry says it has begun installing coal ash retention system on S.S. Badger

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LUDINGTON, Michigan — Operators of the S.S. Badger say they've begun retrofitting the vessel to allow ash from its coal-fired burners to be stored onboard while the ferryboat hauls passengers and vehicles across Lake Michigan.

Lake Michigan Carferry says the first phase of the project is installation of a combustion control system. It will be finished before the sailing season begins May 16. The second phase will be completed next winter.

The modifications are intended to resolve a dispute with federal regulators over dumping the ferry's coal ash into Lake Michigan. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency ordered a halt to the longstanding practice in 2008.

The 410-foot ship is the last remnant of a once-thriving Great Lakes carferry industry. It offers 60-mile cruises between Ludington and Manitowoc, Wisconsin, between May and October.

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