The Port of Long Beach's plan to expand its on-dock rail facilities and capabilities is still in planning phases, so the Port is asking for feedback from the community as they move closer to conducting an Environmental Impact Report sometime next year. Seventeen public speakers took to the mic during a community forum at Port Headquarters on Wednesday, to tell Director of Environmental Planning Rick Cameron their concerns.
You can let Cameron know your own concerns by sending a letter to the address below by September 25 (Cameron acknowledged that he may extend the deadline, but has given no later date as of yet).
Richard D. Cameron
Director of Environmental Planning
Port of Long Beach
925 Harbor Plaza
Long Beach, CA 90802
Of the several speakers on Wednesday who represented several different factions of the community with their concerns, some of the most notable include:
- construction that will close Westside streets, negatively affecting area businesses
- the possible removal of historic structures
- continued exposure to diesel particulates
- the lack of alternative rail power being used
The use of on-dock rail has long been hailed as an environmental victory because it eliminates the need for trucks to take cargo from the docks to transfer facilities. But some would prefer to see electric or magnified rail being used rather than traditional diesel. The current plan calls for cargo to be unloaded directly onto trains and taken to transferring rail facilities.
"The proposed project is not our ideal vision of an on-dock rail facility," said Colleen Callahan of the American Lung Association. "Thank you for trying."
Click here for the Port's webpage about the expansion.