Environment: Long Beach, Los Angeles
The Port of Long Beach on December 15 released a draft environmental study on a proposal to redevelop a rail yard to allow for the assembly of longer trains within the harbor district.
The proposed Pier B On-Dock Rail Support Facility would shift more cargo to "on-dock rail," where containers would be placed directly on trains at marine terminals. No trucks would visit the facility. The rail yard would be operated by Pacific Harbor Line, a switching railroad that has converted its fleet to clean diesel locomotives that reduce air pollution and save fuel. View a video about the project here.
"The proposed development would enhance the efficiency of goods movement at the Port of Long Beach," said Interim Chief Executive Duane Kenagy. "This project is vital to our efforts to modernize the Port and continue to lead the way in environmental sustainability."
The draft environmental impact report (DEIR) analyzes the impacts of the proposed development, and the mitigation measures that would be used to address them. The document is available at www.polb.com/ceqa. The port welcomes comment on the study through February 13, 2017.
Los Angeles Receives EPA Grant for Clean Terminal Equipment
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has awarded the Port of Los Angeles an $800,000 grant to deploy more of the cleanest commercial equipment available for moving cargo. The award will pay between 25 to 40 percent of the cost to replace and upgrade 18 pieces of yard equipment at two Los Angeles container terminals, with the full complement due to be in service by fall 2018.
Two terminal operators, APM Terminals Pacific Ltd. and TraPac LLC, are funding the lion’s share of the $3 million project. APM Terminals will invest more than $2 million to replace 16 yard tractors with new equipment powered by Tier 4 clean diesel engines. TraPac will spend $174,000 to repower two heavy-duty forklifts with Tier 4 engines.
"The EPA grant is precisely the kind of support that allows our partners to keep trading up to the greenest equipment on the market," said Port Executive Director Gene Seroka. "We will continue to aggressively pursue these opportunities to further our efforts to use the cleanest equipment available."
The project will further reduce emissions of nitrogen oxides and diesel particulate matter – pollutants associated with asthma, cancer and premature death – from port-related sources. The annual savings in health costs for Los Angeles County alone are estimated at more than $11 million.
The EPA offers competitive grants under the Diesel Emissions Reduction Act to fund projects that use diesel emission reduction technologies approved by the EPA or the California Air Resources Board. The process favors applicants like the port that are working to improve the quality of life in neighboring communities disproportionately affected by environmental pollution and helping their regions attain federal clean air standards.