Congress has handed a defeat to owners of a passenger ferry that dumps coal ash into Lake Michigan as it travels between Wisconsin and Michigan.
The U.S. House Wednesday passed a Coast Guard re-authorization bill that stripped language requiring the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to give the go-ahead to the nearly 60-year-old SS Badger to keep operating.
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports an identical bill earlier passed the U.S. Senate. It now goes to President Barack Obama for his signature.
The ferry transports cars and passengers between Ludington, Mich. and Manitowoc, Wis. and is the last coal-burning steamship on the Great Lakes.
Environmentalists objected to the tons of coal ash that the Badger released into the lake on daily voyages during the shipping season.