Deadline extended for public comment on controversial rail project at Port of LA

The Port of Los Angeles announced today that the deadline was extended through Aug. 25 for people to provide public comment on the Revised Draft Environmental Impact Report for the Southern California International Gateway Project.

The proposed project would create a BNSF intermodal rail yard facility that would eliminate truck trips from area freeways and is expected to reduce air pollution, traffic congestion and impacts on the public’s health.

But a judge blocked the project in 2016 after finding that a robust pollution analysis was missing when it was first approved in 2013. The city of Long Beach and others, including several environmental groups, sued over the project, arguing it could lead to increased pollution in West Long Beach and other areas.

The new analysis shows pollution could increase in parts of Long Beach over the next 40 years.

BNSF, which is the largest freight railroad network in North America, is investing more than $500 million in the project. According to its website, it is “committed to making SCIG the greenest intermodal facility in the U.S.by investing more than $130 million in green technology, including electric cranes, ultra-low emissions switching locomotives and liquefied natural gas or equivalent yard equipment.”

The facility would be located within four miles of the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach.

Public comment on the Revised Draft Environmental Impact Report was initially scheduled to end on July 9 before being extended to July 30. Members of the public requested an additional extension during a recent public meeting, and officials extended the deadline through Aug. 25.

Click here to read the environmental documents associated with the project. Public comment can be submitted to [email protected] with the subject ling “SCIG Project.”

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