Tuesday, January 16, 2018

POLB releases FEIR for on-dock rail facility

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POLB releases FEIR for on-dock rail facility Port of Long Beach

The Final Environmental Impact Report (FEIR) has been released for the Port of Long Beach's (POLB) proposed redeveloped of a rail yard to transition more cargo to rail.

Currently, POLB says the ability to build long trains is limited due to the lack of adequate yard tracks and the configuration of mainline tracks. The proposed Pier B On-Dock Rail Support Facility would change this by providing track space to join together trains assembled at terminals. No cargo trucks would visit the facility, which POLB says would enhance the environmental benefits of the facility by pushing more cargo to rail transportation. Further environmental benefit would be seen from the rail facility's operator, Pacific Harbor Line, a switching railroad that has converted its fleet to clean diesel locomotives that reduce air pollution and save fuel.

"Building longer trains within the port would lessen local traffic congestion related to goods movement," said Port of Long Beach Executive Director Mario Cordero. "This facility is vital to meet our environmental goals while helping us stay competitive and power the city's economy."

The Harbor Commission will consider the FEIR for the Pier B On-Dock Rail Support Facility during its regular meeting on Jan. 22. The study analyzes the environmental impacts of the proposed development, and the mitigation measures that would be used to address those impacts. The draft EIR was released Dec. 15, 2016. Port staff held a series of public meetings and solicited comments from stakeholders. All comments received have been responded to in the FEIR.

If the commission approves the document, the port will continue to stay engaged with the community as the project progresses. The Pier B On-Dock Rail Support Facility would be located southwest of Anaheim Street and Interstate 710.