The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is giving the nation's last operating coal-fired steamship two more years to stop dumping waste ash into Lake Michigan.
EPA previously ordered Lake Michigan Carferry to stop coal ash discharges from the S.S. Badger by last December. But the agency said Friday the two sides had reached a proposed agreement extending the deadline to the end of the 2014 sailing season.
Regional administrator Susan Hedman says it's the fastest and most certain way to halt the ash dumping. Carferry owner Bob Manglitz says the agreement will save the jobs of its 200 employees.
The 60-year-old ferryboat hauls cars and people across the lake between Ludington and Manitowoc, Wis., between May and October.
There will be a 30-day period for public comment on the proposed deal.