The redevelopment plan proposes to reconfigure two older, irregularly-shaped container shipping terminals to create one rectangular-shaped facility that would operate in a more efficient and environmentally friendly manner. Updating the older terminals would enable the Port to fully implement the aggressive environmental measures in its Green Port Policy and Clean Air Action Plan, significantly cutting air pollution even as containerised trade increases. By expanding the Middle Harbor’s on-dock rail infrastructure, and moving more cargo by rail directly from the waterfront, the project would take as many as 1,000 trucks a day off roadways.â€¨â€¨
“As proposed in this detailed draft environmental report, the Middle Harbor project would create the most environmentally responsible shipping terminal anywhere in the world,” said port executive director Richard D. Steinke. “It fulfills our responsibilities to the environment, economy and community, as it would provide many thousands of new jobs in Southern California while reducing air pollution.”â€¨â€¨
The project would utilise new technologies and cleaner fuels to minimise or eliminate the environmental impacts of shipping operations. For example, all ships would be required to use shore-side electrical power and shut down their diesel engines at berth, and to use low-sulphur fuels for their main and auxiliary engines. Among other environmentally friendly measures, the project would require lower-emission switching locomotives, alternative fuel-powered cargo equipment, compliance with the Green Flag vessel speed reduction programme, cleaner tugboats and barges, ‘green’ building (LEED) standards for terminal buildings and the reuse or recycling of waste materials during construction.
The Middle Harbor draft EIR/EIS and Fact Sheet are available at the Port’s web site, www.polb.com. The Port has scheduled two public hearings in Long Beach to receive comments on the EIR, on June 11 and June 18, 2008.