The two agencies are cooperating with regional transportation planning agencies to use $9.5 million in funding from the U.S. Department of Transportation to establish grant programs that will provide cleaner state-of-the-art engines to New York Harbor ferries.

Namely, with the Marine Repower Program, the goal is the reduction of emissions from passenger ferries by proposing to fund additional marine vessel engine refits for the SeaStreak, Spirit Cruises, and Truex lines.

Due to the long life-expectancy of marine engines, this program could see significant long-term emission benefits as well as fuel savings for line operators.

The projects have passed the preliminary project selection process and are awaiting further review and approval before receiving the federal funding.

Their aim is to reduce pollutants that contribute to the creation of ozone-smog, as well as particulates.

The result of the projects could result in reducing particulates and the chemicals that contribute to the creation of smog by 167 tons annually, the equivalent of removing 45,000 cars and 1,300 tractor-trailers from the roads.

NJDOT Commissioner Richard T. Hammer said. “These grants promote the use of clean technology in cars, trucks and boats, which will continue New Jersey’s efforts to be a leader in both transportation and the environment.”