Riverside appeals Long Beach port project
The City of Riverside, Calif., has filed an appeal over the Port of Long Beach's plan to redevelop two aging container terminals into a larger, more environmentally friendly facility with more capacity.
The $750 million Middle Harbor Redevelopment Project would combine the Long Beach Container Terminal and California United Terminal into one, doubling the current capacity of the two terminals.
After a lengthy public hearing on the issue earlier in April, Long Beach's harbor board approved the plan and its accompanying environmental document. A deadline for appeals was set for April 27.
It's unclear as to the exact reasons Riverside, an inland city 50 miles from Long Beach, lodged the appeal. Air pollution from growing port activity have been a region-wide concern the past decade, but the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles have been undertaking programs, many controversial, to reverse or slow their environmental impacts.
One of the selling points of the Middle Harbor project is its environmental friendliness, the port said. Ships arriving at the terminal would be required to cold-iron ships and use low-sulfur fuels in their main and auxiliary engines. In addition, the redesigned terminal would be configured to make terminal operations more efficient and less polluting.
'We believe that with our exhaustive (environmental impact report), review by experts, diligent community outreach and multiple public meetings we have more than met the requirements of the California Environmental Quality Act,' said Long Beach Harbor Commission President James C. Hankla in response to the appeal. 'This project is critical to the competitiveness of the port.”
An appeal hearing must be scheduled within 60 days of the appeal, the port said.