Port to Begin Public Hearings on Rail Facility

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The Port of Long Beach is seen from Pier B. Photo courtesy of The Port of Long Beach.

The Port of Long Beach is seen from Pier B. Photo courtesy of The Port of Long Beach.

The Port of Long Beach will begin public hearings next week on a draft environmental study for the proposed redevelopment of an existing rail yard into a new facility that could increase the use of “on-dock” trains, moving cargo faster while making operations more sustainable.

The Port will host the first of two public hearings at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 11, at Silverado Park, 1545 W. 31st St., to gather comments on the study, released in December. The second hearing will be 6 p.m., Jan. 18, at the Port Interim Administrative Offices, 4801 Airport Plaza Drive. An open house will be held prior to each hearing, beginning at 5:30 pm. Educational displays and information regarding the Port’s overall rail strategy will be provided. Spanish translation and sign language interpretation will also be available.

The Pier B On-Dock Rail Support Facility, proposed for the northern area of the Port, would shift more cargo to “on-dock rail,” where containers are placed directly on trains at marine terminals, significantly reducing trips by trucks throughout the region. No trucks would visit the rail facility. Instead, smaller train segments would be brought to the facility to be joined together into a full-size train.

The rail yard would be operated by Pacific Harbor Line, which provides short haul rail transportation switching services, railroad track maintenance and train dispatching services under contract to the Port. Pacific Harbor Line is the first railroad in the nation that has converted its entire fleet to clean diesel locomotives that reduce air pollution and save fuel.

To view a project fact sheet and view the draft Environmental Impact Report (EIR), go to www.polb.com/PierB. The draft EIR analyzes the impacts of the proposed development, and the mitigation measures that would be used to address those impacts. The Port welcomes comment on the study through Feb. 13, 2017.

Comments can be made in person at the Jan. 11 and Jan. 18 public hearings or sent in writing to Heather Tomley, Director of Environmental Planning, 4801 Airport Plaza Drive, Long Beach, CA 90815 or heather.tomley@polb.com.

A video about the project is available here.

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