Tuesday, January 17, 2017

POLB to Hold Public Meeting on Rail Study

By Mark Edward Nero

The Port of Long Beach says it’s holding a public hearing this week to gather input on a draft environmental study for a proposal that would increase the use of on-dock trains, moving cargo more efficiently while making operations more sustainable.

The hearing on the draft Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for the Pier B On-Dock Rail Support Facility is set for 6 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 18 at the port’s interim administrative offices, 4801 Airport Plaza Dr., Long Beach.

The EIR, which was released in December, analyzes the impacts of the proposed development, and the mitigation measures that would be used to address those impacts.

Thirty minutes before the hearing, at 5:30 p.m., the port hosts a public open house providing educational displays and information regarding its overall rail strategy.

The proposed Pier B On-Dock Rail Support Facility could, according to the port, shift more cargo to on-dock rail, where containers are placed directly on trains at marine terminals, significantly reducing trips by trucks throughout the region.

No trucks would visit the facility; instead, smaller train segments would be brought to the facility and joined together into a full-sized train.

The rail yard would be operated by Pacific Harbor Line, which provides short haul rail transportation switching services, railroad track maintenance and train dispatching services under contract to the port.

A project fact sheet, the draft EIR and a video about the proposed facility are all available at www.polb.com/PierB

The port is receiving comment on the study through Feb. 13. Comments can be made in person at the public hearing or sent in writing to Heather Tomley, Director of Environmental Planning, 4801 Airport Plaza Dr., Long Beach, CA 90815 or heather.tomley@polb.com.