- The Port of Long Beach released its final environmental impact report (EIR) on a proposed redevelopment of an additional rail yard to be located within the Harbor District, a port press release reported last week.
- The rail yard, which would operate from Pier B as an On-Dock Rail Support Facility, would redirect cargo to an “on-dock rail,” enabling the placing of shipping containers on trains at marine terminals. At present, a lack of sufficient tracks and a problematic configuration inhibits the process. Cargo trucks would therefore be eliminated, improving air quality.
- The Harbor Commission will consider the final environmental impact report during its regular meeting on Monday. If approved, the public will remain informed of the initiative's progress.
The Port of Long Beach has consistently emerged as an efficiency leader, and its new rail program is just its next project.
From the reporting of cargo dwell times in the wake of the Hanjin container shortage debacle, to the partnership with Toyota for the building of a megawatt-scale carbonate fuel cell power generation plant with a hydrogen fueling station, the Port of Long Beach is clearly amenable to progress.
Now, the port is aligning itself with an industry trending toward greater intermodal rail transport.
While the West Coast is generally believed to be progressive in terms of labor and environmental issues, the Port of Long Beach continues to emerge as a leader in advancement.
Earlier this month the port was named (along with its sister port in Los Angeles) in a lawsuit against NFI Industries, a transport company alleged to be misclassifying drivers. In addition, the port has achieved an 88% reduction in diesel particulate matter in the past 13 years, as well as a 60% increase in ecosystem health for both marine animals and fish since 2008.
Given the port's track record of environmental responsibility and investment, therefore, it's likely that the new Pier B rail project will win approval from the Harbor Commission.