Thursday, May 8, 2014

DEIR: Yusen Project Would Cause ‘Significant’ Environmental Impacts

By Mark Edward Nero

A proposed project to renovate the Yusen container terminal at the Port of Los Angeles could cause “unavoidable significant impacts,” according to a newly-released draft Environmental Impact Statement/Report.

The draft EIS/EIR, which was released May 5, was prepared by the Port of LA in conjunction with the US Army Corps of Engineers for the Yusen Terminals Inc. (YTI) Container Terminal Improvements Project, located at Berths 212-224 at the Port of Los Angeles.

According to the draft EIS/EIR, implementation of the proposed project or one or more of the alternatives would result in significant impacts in the areas of air quality and meteorology; greenhouse gas emissions; and biological resources.

“No feasible mitigation measures are available that would avoid all of the potential impacts or reduce all impacts to less-than-significant levels,” the report states. “Therefore, potential impacts to these resource areas are considered significant and unavoidable.”

In addition, the report states, implementation of the project would result in significant impacts in the areas of groundwater & soils, but that those impacts could be mitigated.

The terminal proposal entails improving Berths 214-216 wharves, increasing berth depth from minus-45 to minus-53 feet, and improving Berths 217-220 wharves to make way for 100-foot gauge gantry cranes, and deepening to a minus-47 feet berth depth. The project would also construct additional on-dock rail yard capacity for YTI.

YTI, a subsidiary of Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha (NYKK), operates marine cargo terminals in Los Angeles and Oakland and provides stevedore and terminal service to container shipping lines. YTI has a long-term lease with the Port of LA for operation of the terminal through 2016, and has said it plans to exercise its option to extend its lease through 2026. A copy of the document is available for public review at the Port of Los Angeles website:

The public comment and review period for the draft EIS/EIR is from May 2 through June 16, 2014. During this time, the port will accept written comments and will host a public meeting at 6 pm Tues., May 20 at the Port of Los Angeles Administration Building, 425 S. Palos Verdes St., San Pedro, to present its findings and provide opportunity for public comment.