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Cleaner burning SS Badger sets sail

MANITOWOC, WI (WTAQ) - It's New Year's Day for the SS Badger.  

About 200 people rode the car ferry on the season's first trip Friday across Lake Michigan from Ludington to Manitowoc.  

Well-wishers and balloons greeted the boat upon its arrival in eastern Wisconsin. It was a cold day to set sail, but at least the sun was out.  

The ferry is starting to use a cleaner-burning coal, as ordered by the federal government.  

The Badger's owners spent over $1 million to install combustion controls this past winter, as part of a consent decree with the federal government.  

The boat must reduce its coal-ash emissions this year, and eliminate them next year.  

The Badger has carried people and their vehicles across Lake Michigan for decades. It's the nation's last steam-fired coal-burning vessel.

(Story courtesy of Wheeler News Service)