Clean Marine Engine Program 

A new state program is helping Maine fishermen save money and become more energy efficient at the same time.Amy Erickson has the story.This brand new engine will soon be inside Jason Witham’s lobster boat, the Siren.”It’s more efficient. I’m going to use less fuel. Probably it’s going to save me 20 gallons of fuel a day.”But Witham says even better than that is the that he got it for half price, thanks to the Maine Department of Environmental Protection’s new Clean Marine Engine Program.It helps fishermen repower their boats with new engines which are about 70 percent cleaner.”They’ll take your old engine and replace it with a new one. And the program will cover 50 percent of the engine cost and 50% of the labor.””It’s about $43,000 for the engine and the install. So you’re looking at $20,000 of savings.””We are repowering over 40 vessels, including 30 lobster boats, 4 fishing vessels, 3 ferries and a schooner out of Eastport.”Lynne Cayting is with the Maine D-E-P.She says the new engines will reduce harmful diesel exhaust emissions.And the cost savings will be felt by folks all over the state…not just those who make their living on the water.”Using over 1.2 million dollars in stimulus funds to repower commercial vessels with a brand new EPA tier 2 engine. So we’re taking old, nonregulated engines and replacing them with compliant EPA engines.””It helps the local community, the boatyards, mechanics…it even helps the banks. It helps the sternmen…so many people in a meaningful way using stimulus dollars and it helps the environment.””It’s saving me a lot of money with the price of lobsters being down and the fuel and everything. It’s a way for me to be able to get a new engine that will last me a lot longer and be able to get my bottom line up.”