China Shipping Expansion at Port of LA

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

The Los Angeles Harbor Commission Thursday certified the final Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for the proposed Berth 97-109 Container Terminal Project (China Shipping) and approved the project.

The approved project, which will include a tenant lease to year 2045, will provide thousands of future jobs while substantially reducing air emissions at the terminal through unprecedented mitigation measures. 
“We’ve just approved what could very well be the cleanest and greenest port container terminal operation in the world,” said Los Angeles Harbor Commission President, S. David Freeman.  “This project underscores our commitment to investing in and growing our cargo operations for the future -- but not at the expense of public health.”

“This is the third major project EIR our Board has approved in roughly 12 months – it’s another sizable investment in the future of this Port,” added Port Executive Director Geraldine Knatz, Ph.D.  “In these tough economic times, the thousands of jobs this operation will create is welcomed news, and it’s only possible by ensuring that our operations apply industry-leading environmental measures.”

China Shipping’s expanded terminal operations will facilitate more than 8,400 direct permanent and indirect jobs, and it will increase container terminal capacity to accommodate an annual throughput of 1.5 million TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units, or 20-foot containers).  The facility footprint will be expanded from an existing 72 acres to 142 acres of backland and 2,500 feet of wharves served by 10 Post-panamax A-frame cranes.

The host of roughly 60 environmental measures being applied to China Shipping terminal construction and operations as part of the EIR and new lease agreement include the use of shore-side “Alternative Maritime Power” (AMP) by all cargo ships calling at the terminal by 2011.  In 2004, China Shipping became the first container ship line in the world to plug ships into shore-side electric power while at berth at the Port of Los Angeles.  The measure eliminates the release of roughly a ton of ship emissions every 24 hours a ship is at berth. 

Other environmental measures include:
•    One hundred percent compliance with the Port’s Vessel Speed Reduction Program (VSRP) for ships transiting within 40 nautical miles of the Port, a measure that further reduces container ship emissions in the South Coast Air Basin
•    Use of low-sulfur fuel on container ships within 40 nautical miles of the Port
•    Use of alternative fueled yard tractors
•    Use of electric rubber tired gantry cranes
•    Use of diesel particulate filters on lower-emission switcher locomotives
•    Use of USEPA 2007 compliant container drayage trucks by 2012 (in line with the Port’s Clean Truck Program) and 100-percent use of LNG-powered trucks by 2018
•    A main terminal building constructed to “Gold” certification-level Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED)

The Draft EIS/EIR was a re-circulation of the original Draft EIS/EIR released in 2006.  The Final EIS/EIR included a re-assessment of existing project components, assessment of proposed components, and new environmental measures in response to community feedback on the previously released Draft EIS/EIR. 

The six-year period of construction during terminal expansion will create an average of 180 annual full-time direction construction jobs and an additional 130 annual indirect construction jobs, as well as annual tax revenues of approximately $9m from construction expenditures.  Port officials estimate that the project could provide approximately 4,687 direct permanent jobs and an additional 3,748 indirect jobs by 2030, with operations generating annual tax revenues of approximately $85m by 2045.
 Phase II and Phase III of the project are estimated to cost $106,300,000.  The first phase cost $100,200,000 for terminal assets already in place. 

The project also includes several community beautification initiatives, including the development of a new community park in San Pedro (Plaza Park), implementing a Beautification Plan along area corridors, and extensive landscaping along Front Street, which runs parallel to the terminal perimeter.

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