LOS ANGELES--(Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR) released by the Port of Los Angeles today affirms that BNSF Railway’s proposed Southern California International Gateway (SCIG) facility will result in an overall improvement in air quality, health risk and traffic in both the immediate neighborhoods around the site and throughout the region. Additionally, the project would create thousands of jobs and generate millions in state and local tax revenue. BNSF has also recently agreed to contribute up to $3 million to the joint Port of Los Angeles-Port of Long Beach Technology Advancement Program to further the development of zero-emission goods-movement technologies.)--The updated
“We’re proud to provide BNSF with a skilled local union workforce to build this new environmentally friendly rail yard. This has been a long process, and the time to build it is now.”
The updated report, which was reissued to reflect updated analysis, confirms that proceeding with the project results in significant air quality and health risk improvements for residents, students, teachers and workers in the area as compared to continuing the existing uses at the site. In fact, SCIG far surpasses the Port of Los Angeles’ health risk goal for new projects and will help provide the cleaner growth the region needs.
SCIG will eliminate more than 1.5 million truck trips from I-710 each year, providing local and regional air quality improvements and congestion relief.
“This report validates that building SCIG is the right choice for green growth in Los Angeles,” said Matthew K. Rose, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of BNSF. “I’m proud of the hard work we’ve done over the past seven years to design the greenest intermodal rail facility in the country.”
SCIG Needed to Create New Jobs
“Now that the updated report confirms the benefits of this important project, it should move ahead without further delay,” said Sandy Cajas, President and CEO of the Regional Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.
Maria Elena Durazo, Executive Secretary-Treasurer of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO, noted, “The unemployment rate in L.A. County is still 11 percent. The Los Angeles County Federation of Labor voted to endorse and actively support SCIG because it’s time to bring good jobs to our region.”
BNSF has concluded a Project Labor Agreement worth $255 million with the Building and Construction Trades Council for the construction of SCIG. Added Robbie Hunter, Executive-Secretary of the Los Angeles/Orange Counties Building and Construction Trades Council, “We’re proud to provide BNSF with a skilled local union workforce to build this new environmentally friendly rail yard. This has been a long process, and the time to build it is now.”
SCIG will allow containers to be loaded onto rail just four miles from the docks, rather than traveling 24 miles on local roads and I-710 to downtown rail facilities. BNSF will clean up an existing industrial site and replace it with a state-of-the-art facility featuring wide-span all-electric cranes, ultra-low emission switching locomotives and low-emission rail yard equipment. In addition to these innovations, BNSF has committed to allow only trucks meeting the Port’s Clean Air Action Plan (CAAP) goal of 2010 or newer trucks to transport cargo between the marine terminals and the facility. By 2026, 90 percent of the truck fleet will be LNG or equivalent emissions vehicles. Trucks will be required to avoid residential areas by traveling on designated, industrial routes with GPS tracking to ensure compliance. BNSF has also committed to create a local jobs training program and offer priority hiring for new jobs to qualified local job applicants.
BNSF continues to engage with stakeholders at its website, BNSFConnects.com, on Facebook and on Twitter. Stakeholders are encouraged to attend a public meeting on October 18, 2012 or to submit their written comments for the official record to the Port of Los Angeles by November 9, 2012 to Christopher Cannon, Director of Environmental Management via mail or e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. They will be included in the Final Environmental Impact Report.
BNSF Railway is one of North America's leading freight transportation companies operating on 32,000 route miles of track in 28 states and two Canadian provinces. BNSF is one of the top transporters of consumer goods, grain, and industrial goods that help feed, clothe, supply, and power American homes and businesses every day. BNSF and its employees have developed one of the most technologically advanced, and efficient railroads in the industry. And we are working continuously to improve the value of the safety, service, energy, and environmental benefits we provide to our customers and the communities we serve. You can learn more about BNSF at http://www.BNSF.com.
Project Fact Sheet
Southern California International Gateway (SCIG)
|Project Purpose:||Create comparable near-dock capacity for all Class I railroads to accommodate anticipated port growth while reducing energy consumption, highway congestion and environmental emissions, increasing fluidity and throughput of on-dock rail facilities, increasing use of the Alameda Corridor, and providing competitive choices for shippers and port customers consistent with the Port of Los Angeles’ adopted Port Rail Policy.|
|Main Facility Location:||Existing industrial sites of approximately 156 acres with the primary project area between Sepulveda Blvd, Pacific Coast Highway, the Dominguez Channel and the Terminal Island Freeway.|
|Private Investment:||$500 million of private investment (including in excess of $100 million in increased cost due to investments in green technology).|
|Air Quality Benefits:||The Port’s analysis concludes that proceeding with the project instead of continuing existing uses of the site results in air quality improvements and reductions in associated health risks for surrounding communities.|
Health Risk Benefits:
The Port’s analysis concludes that SCIG is far better than standards established by the Port for new projects. Specifically, the Port set a standard for not more than 10 in a million increased cancer risk and the analysis showed SCIG to be at 0.2 in a million for residents. As compared to choosing the “No Project” alternative (a continuation of existing uses at the site) choosing to proceed with SCIG will result in an overall improvement in health risk for all key receptors analyzed, particularly for residential, sensitive and student uses.
The EIR found that SCIG will have a positive impact on traffic, both
locally and regionally, by eliminating more than 1.5 million trucks
from the 710, reducing congestion along the 710 corridor and around
BNSF’s Hobart Yard in Commerce.
According to the DEIR, traffic will be improved at seven intersections near the facility.