The S.S. Badger, a coal-fired steamship provider of cross-lake passenger service on the Great Lakes of North America, is finally going green after almost 60 years of service. Informed by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that it can no longer dump ash from its coal fired boilers into Lake Michigan from December 2012, the owners say compressed natural gas (CNG) is now its most viable option, reports Wood Television.
A landfill-based ash disposal system and a diesel refit were considered uneconomical. The EPA has apparently approved CNG as a suitable alternative, allowing the ship’s current boilers to be retrofitted. The Lake Michigan Carferry Service is now investigating how to implement storage and refueling for CNG.
The 410-foot car ferry, built in 1952, sails between Ludington, Michigan and Manitowoc, Wisconsin, carrying passengers and vehicles on the four-hour, 60-mile cruise. It is said to be the last working coal-fired steamer in the United States and possibly the first to be retrofitted for natural gas operation.