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Board Extends Middle Harbor Comment Period

With extra 30 days, new deadline for input on EIR is August 8

July 7, 2008

The Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners agreed on Monday, June, 30, 2008, to add 30 days to the public comment period on a draft environmental impact study for a proposed Middle Harbor Redevelopment Project at the Port of Long Beach, moving the deadline for input to August 8, 2008.

The Port has conducted two public hearings, June 11 and June 18, to receive verbal comment from the public. About 200 people attended the hearings, and about 100 offered comments on the proposed project. In addition, the Port has received about 150 written comments on the environmental document. The topics ranged from jobs to air quality issues to an extension of the comment period. The 45-day comment period was scheduled to end on July 11. 

"We very much appreciate those who have given us their constructive comments on the project so far," said Commission President Mario Cordero. "Given the scale of the environmental analysis, we agree that the public should be allowed another 30 days to submit comments."

The draft environmental impact report/environmental impact statement (EIR/EIS) analyzing the Middle Harbor project is more than 3,000 pages long, including appendices.

The Middle Harbor redevelopment plan proposes to reconfigure two older irregularly shaped container shipping terminals to create one rectangular-shaped facility that would operate in a more efficient and environmentally friendly manner. In addition to creating 14,000 new, permanent jobs, the project would generate about 1,000 construction jobs a year during the 10 years of construction. 

Updating the older terminals would enable the Port to fully implement the aggressive environmental measures in its Green Port Policy and Clean Air Action Plan, significantly cutting air pollution even as containerized trade increases. The project would reduce pollution from current levels by about 50 percent by incorporating a wide range of environmental technologies such as shore-side electricity for ships at berth to cut diesel emissions and with the addition of on-dock rail to reduce truck trips.

"At the close of the public comment period, we will be thoroughly reviewing all comments and addressing them in the final environmental document that we present to the Board of Harbor Commissioners," said Rick Cameron, the Port's Director of Environmental Planning. 

The Middle Harbor draft EIR/EIS, Fact Sheet and video of the first public hearing are available at the Port's web site, www.polb.com. The report is a joint document produced by the Port and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

The Port is accepting written comments, which should be sent to 925 Harbor Plaza, Long Beach CA 90802, attn: Richard D. Cameron, Director of Environmental Planning, or by e-mail at cameron@polb.com.
 
For more information, please see the fact sheet , Q&APowerPoint, or video presentation by Port Executive Director Richard D. Steinke. Visit our environmental documents page for the full, downloadable EIR/EIS report.

Click here to see a video of the June 11 public hearing.

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