The Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection announced that Cross Sound Ferry Services is receiving $1 million in federal stimulus funds and EPA grants to reduce harmful emissions from diesel engines on one of its vessels, the MV Susan Anne. The project will provide a state-of-the-art upgrade to the two main engines on the MV Susan Anne that will bring them to the cleanest level available for these engines.
The funds come from two federal sources: $750,000 from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Stimulus Act); and $250,000 from the federal Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA), a State DERA Program allocation that Connecticut received from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Cross Sound Ferry is contributing an additional $250,000 in matching funds, bringing the total project value to $1,250,000.
Cross Sound Ferry’s operations already significantly decrease air pollution around Long Island Sound by eliminating up to 11.5 million vehicle miles travelled on roadways between Connecticut and New York City. The MV Susan Anne, alone, moves an average of 166 vehicles and 411 passengers daily.
DEP Commissioner Amey Marrella said, “Reducing the emissions of diesel particulates from the MV Susan Anne’s engines builds on the air quality benefits already resulting from passengers taking advantage of ferry service to Long Island instead of driving their cars. Diesel exhaust contributes to air pollution and respiratory illness especially for the elderly and for children. An added benefit to the upgrade is improved fuel efficiency and energy savings – a win-win situation on all levels.”
It is projected that these engine upgrades will reduce diesel particulate emissions from the MV Susan Anne by up to 3.1 tons annually. In addition, the upgraded engines will have electronic injection systems that improve fuel efficiency, thus reducing fuel use, contributing to energy independence and saving money.
Cross Sound Ferry owner and president John P. Wronowski said, “This continues Cross Sound’s commitment to helping reduce emissions and improve air quality in Connecticut. Not only does the ferry service remove over a half million vehicles and their emissions from Connecticut’s highways each year, but this marks the third vessel in our fleet to receive engine replacements or upgrades to cleaner emissions standards. We are proud that the upgrade kits for the MV Susan Anne are manufactured by EMD, a longtime U.S. equipment manufacturer. EMD engines were first installed in the MV Susan Anne in 2002. We are happy to be working with the State to improve overall air quality in the Long Island Sound region and hope that more people will opt to take the ferry service as the green alternative to highway driving.”
The upgrade will take place in the spring of 2011 and the project is scheduled to be complete, with the vessel back in service, by July 1, 2011. Given the long lifespan of ferry engines, this project will yield significant emission reductions for many years. The Cross Sound Ferry engine upgrade project was selected for funding through a competitive grant process.
This project is consistent with the comprehensive Connecticut Clean Diesel Plan of 2006, which addresses emissions from a wide range of sources including school and transit buses, construction equipment, and trucks. Since the upgrade of the engines will also result in increased fuel efficiency, the project will also achieve a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions consistent with the 2008 Connecticut Global Warming Solutions Act.
DEP is also encouraging municipalities, state and tribal agencies, non-profit organizations and other clean diesel stakeholders to apply for DERA funds that are currently available through the National Clean Diesel Funding Assistance Program. Proposals are due to EPA by January 13, 2011. More information is available on EPA’s Clean Diesel Program website at http://www.epa.gov/otaq/diesel/prgnational.htm .