BNSF Railway’s proposed $500 million near-dock intermodal terminal in Los Angeles-Long Beach will take up up to 1.5 million trucks a year off congested roads and freeways, according to a environmental impact draft report.
The Port of Los Angeles will receive comments on the draft report until Dec. 22 as part of the environmental review process leading to completion of the final report. At present, intermodal containers leaving the ports must be trucked 24 miles to BNSF’s Hobart intermodal yard near downtown Los Angeles. When the near-dock facility is completed, the distance will be cut to four miles.
BNSF stated that it intends to make SCIG the “greenest intermodal facility in the United States.” It will feature wide-span all-electric cranes and low-emission switching locomotives and yard equipment.
Only trucks that meet the ports’ clean-truck program requirements for 2007 or newer clean-diesel trucks will be allowed to call at the intermodal facility. By 2026, at least 90 percent of the truck fleet will be powered by liquefied natural gas or equivalent emissions vehicles, BNSF stated.
BNSF said the facility will go even further than the Port of Los Angeles health-risk standards for new projects. The port’s goal is no more than an additional 10 in a million excess cancer risk, whereas SCIG will produce a reduction of cancer risk of 160 in a million, BNSF said.
Also, the project will create 1,500 jobs annually through the three-year construction phase and will create 22,000 new direct and indirect jobs in Southern California by 2036.
“We believe that this facility proves that ‘green’ and ‘growth’ can go together,” said Matthew K. Rose, BNSF chairman and CEO.