Thursday, September 1, 2011

Los Angeles Port Seeks Public Input on USS Iowa Siting

The Port of Los Angeles on Tuesday released initial documents addressing the environmental impacts of siting the battleship USS Iowa at the port as an attraction and port officials are seeking public input on the port-generated Initial Study/Notice of Preparation (IS/NOP).

The battleship, which remains in the Navy inventory in "on hold" status as part of a government program that donates vessels to museum groups, saw service in World War II, Korea, and served again as part of the United States Navy's "big stick" policy from 1984 to 1989. It is the last remaining battleship in the world that has not been permanently placed as a floating museum.

Applications for the USS Iowa were submitted to the US Navy in late November 2010. Two groups are currently vying for the battleship, one in Los Angeles and one that is seeking to bring the vessel to Vallejo in the Bay Area.

In November 2010, the governing board for the Port of Los Angeles approved supporting a plan by the non-profit Pacific Battleship Center to acquire the battleship and ensconce the warship at the port as a floating museum.

Voting unanimously to support the PBC acquisition efforts, the port commission also approved the use of Berth 87 near the port's main cruise terminal as the future home for the battleship. The Los Angeles City Council backed the PBC plan in September 2010.
The Navy has yet to make a decision on the where the battleship will be located.

The current Los Angeles plan calls for the battleship to be moored year-round at Berth 87 with sufficient public parking for visitors. Portions of the USS Iowa would be available to the public for guided tours, special events, and educational programs.

Pending future funding, a second phase of the project may include an approximately 33,800-square foot, two-story landside Visitor Center that will include a museum and education center featuring historic artifacts, educational programs, and food concession areas; ticketing, gift shop, and restroom facilities.

The IS/NOP includes a discussion of the proposed project’s potential effects on the existing environment, and identification of analysis to be expanded in the forthcoming Environmental Impact Report (EIR) to reduce potential impacts as required under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).

The 30-day public comment/review period is from August 29 to September 29, 2011. A public meeting to receive comments will be held on Tuesday, September 13, from 6 to 8 p.m., at the Port of Los Angeles Administration Building.

The IS/NOP is available on the port's website at

Comments on the IS/NOP should be submitted in writing prior to the end of the 30-day public review period and must be postmarked by September 29, 2011. Please submit written comments to: Christopher Cannon, Director of Environmental Management, Port of Los Angeles 425 S. Palos Verdes Street, San Pedro, CA 90731. Written comments may also be sent via email to Comments sent via email should include the project title in the subject line and a valid mailing address in the email.