Ohhh, OP should have posted the back story. I’m a very long way from Maine. Being a Cat they might get an exemption but any serious incident (minor MARPOL) will result in its review or revocation.
I would take issue with the $100k figure. That might be what the Pilots bill but after its all said and done the service will cost the Pilots a good chunk of that (fuel, wages, etc) and it will always require a pilot, meaning when traffic gets busy extra manpower will have to be allocated to the vessel. If an extra $100k is make or break for Bay Ferries then the operation simply isn’t profitable enough to sustain itself as that kind of coin is a drop in the bucket (it’s at least what they would spend on “company” pilots).
If I were bay ferries I would plead my case to the Pilot Commission and seek a better tariff. They could ask the pilots but I’m sure they are unable to, by law, cut them a deal, if they even wanted to at this point.
Before the good people of Portland give any economic concessions they should research how Rochester, NY tried this with its fast ferry to Toronto or maybe how the original owners fared in Hawaii. A lot might be learned.