Badger officials confident in 2013 season despite legislative setback

Officials with the S.S. Badger say they are confident the steam ship will be making the trek across Lake Michigan in the new year, despite a defeat in Congress.

The U.S. House passed a coast guard reauthorization bill that stripped language requiring the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to give the go-ahead to the nearly 60-year-old S.S. Badger to keep operating.

The passenger ferry dumps coal ask into Lake Michigan as it travels between Michigan and Wisconsin.

An identical bill passed earlier in the U.S. Senate, which now goes to President Obama for his signature.

Officials in Ludington released the following statement this morning:

"The Coast Guard amendment was just one of several options we have been pursuing. We continue to work closely with the EPA. We are grateful to Representatives Bill Huizenga, Tom Petri and Dan Benishek for recognizing the economic importance of the Badger to their constituents and their sponsorship of the Coast Guard bill amendment. We are confident that weâ??ll be sailing in 2013."