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Current State: EPA may end SS Badger’s long run on coal

The iconic Michigan steamship, the SS Badger, may lose its permit to dump spent coal into Lake Michigan. The Ludington company that owns and operates the Badger, Lake Michigan Carferry, expects to hear soon from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency about its request to continue the practice. Hugh McDiarmid, communications director  for the Michigan Environmental Council, discusses the impact of the SS Badger on the environment.  

S.S. Badger must stop dumping ash by 2012

(MI) Ludington Daily News – Ludington’s S.S. Badger is lauded, revered and adored for its uniqueness as the last operating coal-fired passenger ship in the United States. On the other, it faces environmental regulation for that very reason – coal, or, in this case, a coal-burning waste product, ash. With coal burning comes waste, emissions through the stack – specifically exempt from regulation by Wisconsin and Michigan state law – but also an ash slurry that is dumped daily into Lake Michigan. That ash discharge used to be considered normal operating procedure for coal-fired vessels. A 1973 portion of the U.S. Clean Water Act – when there were still more than 50 coal-fired vessels operating – stated discharges like the Badger’s, which are “incidental to normal operations,” were allowed.

Logger could go to prison for illegally cutting trees in Wisconsin national forest

A northern Wisconsin logger faces possible time behind bars on charges he illegally cut timber in an environmentally sensitive part of the 1.5 million-acre Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest. A federal grand jury in Madison has indicted 40-year-old Jerod Hecimovich on charges of stealing, injuring,  cutting and removing live oak timber from an 88-acre parcel of national forestland in Bayfield County.

Being licensed is not the same as being a trapper

Nearly 30,000 people buy a Michigan fur harvester license each year. Some are trappers. The others are hunters of furbearing species. But only about half of the people who buy a license actually participate because of the time commitment involved, state officials say.

Pastured poultry are popular

Farmers increasingly turn to chicken tractors and pastures for raising poultry.

Photo Friday: Wisconsin sunrise

This picture of a clear early morning on the western side of Lake Michigan was snapped by Wisconsin resident Catherine Egger last summer. The photo was taken from the shores of Manitowoc, home to the Wisconsin end of the SS Badger car ferry, which transports cargo to and from Ludington, Mich. You’ll notice a small gathering of geese near the bottom of the picture that joined in watching the sun come up. Have a photo to submit for our Photo Friday series? Send it to us on Facebook or Twitter, or in an email to