LONG BEACH, Calif. -- The Middle Harbor Redevelopment Project at the Port of Long Beach will improve cargo-handling efficiency while reducing pollution by more than 50 percent, according to the draft environmental impact report released Monday by the port.
The separate facilities operated by California United Terminals and Long Beach Container Terminal will be combined into one 345-acre container terminal with four vessel berths, according to the report by the Army Corps of Engineers.
Efficiency will improve when the existing, irregularly-shaped terminals are combined into a single terminal with a more efficient rectangular shape.
Also, by expanding the on-dock rail transfer yard, the new terminal will remove as many as 1,000 truck trips per day from local roadways.
The 10-year, $750-million project will be built in two phases and include two landfills totaling more than 50 acres.
The lease for the Middle Harbor terminal will include a number of environmental requirements. All vessels must use shore-side electrical power at berth. Vessel operators will have to use low-sulfur fuels in their main and auxiliary engines in the harbor area.
Also, the project will require low-emission switching locomotives, alternative fuel-powered cargo handling equipment, slow-speed vessel transits as ships approach the coast, cleaner tugboats, green building standards and the reuse or recycling of waste materials during construction.
Port executives first proposed the expansion project in 2001, but development of the EIR was slowed as the Southern California ports reworked environmental requirements for port leases under the Clean Air Action Plan.