Stacked containers. Photo via Maryland Port Administration.

The feds are pitching in to help the Port of Baltimore cut down on its emissions with a $2.45 million grant to replace trucks and conventional diesel cargo-hauling equipment with clean diesel technology.

Some of the money coming from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will also go toward cutting leisurely emissions: Entertainment Cruises’ The Spirit of Baltimore, the multi-story dinner cruise ship often seen carrying party-goers in the Inner Harbor, will be outfitted with new, lower-emission engines.

The combined $6.3 million project—the Maryland Environmental Service said another $3.8 million is coming from matching funds from Entertainment Cruises and the Port of Baltimore—will replace 30 pieces of cargo-handling equipment, such as forklifts and terminal tractors, and 35 dray trucks, which move containers around the port.

The agency’s director and CEO, Roy McGrath, said in a statement that it will all help reduce the Port of Baltimore’s carbon footprint. Nearby communities, such as Curtis Bay and Brooklyn, which have among the worst air quality in the country, “will benefit directly from the reduction of emissions,” he said.

The EPA has funded $138 million in clean diesel projects for ports since 2008—albeit while more recently rolling back restrictions on coal-burning power plants under the Trump administration. In the same round of recent grants as the one for Maryland, the agency awarded $1.3 million for clean diesel projects at the ports in Wilmington, Delaware, and Philadelphia, and another $882,000 for passengers on the Potomac River in and around D.C.

This story has been updated.

Ethan McLeod is a freelance reporter in Baltimore. He previously worked as an editor for the Baltimore Business Journal and Baltimore Fishbowl. His work has appeared in Bloomberg CityLab, Next City and...