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Photo Friday: Lake Michigan sunrise

Catherine Egger, a real estate agent and Echo reader, was up with the sun when she captured this photo earlier this summer. She shared the Lake Michigan sunrise with some geese at the SS Badger Carferry dock in Manitowoc, Wisc.  

Using coal to deliver wind power


The Ludington Daily News reports that the S.S. Badger carferry is expanding its operating season until Nov. 2 to transport wind tower parts. That means the Badger will be moving parts for building clean alternative energy while under steam provided by a power plant criticized for polluting Lake Michigan. The vessel is the last operational coal-fired steamship. It travels between Ludington Mich., and Manitowoc Wis., and is  under fire for dumping coal ash into the lake.

Research to examine possibility of powering Great Lakes ships with natural gas

Great Lakes ships may be getting natural gas makeovers. Researchers with the Great Lakes Maritime Research Institute will soon study converting steam-powered ships to natural gas, using either compressed or liquid natural gas as primary fuel sources. The team is also working with the Lake Michigan Carferry Service to determine the possibility of converting the controversial S.S. Badger to natural gas. From mid-May through mid-October, the S.S. Badger travels between Manitowoc, Wisc., and Ludington, Mich., every day. The monster vessel is the only coal-fired steamship operating in the U.S. and has come under fire from environmentalists because, as Echo reported, it emits nearly four tons of toxic coal ash into Lake Michigan with every trip and has been under an Environmental Protection Agency order since 2008 to fix its pollution problem by 2012.

Ferry warned to keep coal waste out of Lake Michigan

(MI) Detroit Free Press – The Environmental Protection Agency has given Lake Michigan Carferry, owner of the SS Badger, until 2012 to change its practices — a deadline the company says it will meet. The Badger hauls people and vehicles between Ludington and Manitowoc, Wis. The Badger’s crew mixes coal ash waste with water and dumps the slurry into Lake Michigan during each trip. “It’s been tested. It’s inert, benign.