Superior Court Judge Barry P. Goode ruled within the past hour that the Port of Los Angeles “failed to perform adequate environmental analysis before approving the massive Southern California International Gateway (SCIG) railyard project adjacent to many residents and businesses located in West Long Beach,” according to a statement from the Long Beach City Attorney’s office. The railyard project was proposed by BNSF Railway to be located on Port of L.A. land adjacent to West Long Beach.
The ruling requires that the L.A. port complete a new environmental impact report to reduce the negative impacts from the project. In previous interviews with the Business Journal, BNSF officials said the project, proposed several years ago, was an effort to reduce overall pollution in the region by eliminating truck trips on local freeways, and by making operations more efficient by moving cargo closer to port docks.
The City of Long Beach was one of several agencies, including the Long Beach Unified School District, to file a lawsuit to block the project from moving forward. “We are relieved that the court heard and understood our concerns about the impacts of the SCIG project, which would significantly increase air pollution in an area where residents already face too many health hazards,” said Long Beach City Attorney Charles Parkin. “With this ruling, the port and BNSF must re-examine opportunities to avoid the project’s effects on public health and quality of life in West Long Beach and neighboring communities.”
Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia issued the following statement: “This is a huge win for Long Beach, and in particular our Westside residents who would have been dramatically impacted by this proposed project. The health of our children and the protection of our environment have been at the forefront of our concerns. My thanks to my predecessor Mayor Bob Foster for fighting to protect our residents and to City Attorney Charlie Parkin, Assistant City Attorney Mike Mais, and our entire legal team for this historic win for our West Long Beach neighborhoods.”
More information will appear in the next edition of the Long Beach Business Journal.