BNSF hails decision to approve SCIG project

BNSF Railway called the Los Angeles Board of Harbor Commissioners’ decision to recommend approval of the Southern California International Gateway (SCIG) project a significant vote for both a greener environment and jobs.

“The commissioners’ vote validates that building SCIG is the right choice for green growth in Los Angeles and will be a new environmental model for the rest of the country,” said Matthew K Rose, chairman and chief executive officer of BNSF. “We appreciate all the support from a wide range of stakeholders and stand ready to invest $500 million to build this state-of-the-art facility and bring jobs, air quality, and traffic benefits to Southern California while helping keep the San Pedro ports competitive.”

The Los Angeles City Council is expected to review and vote on the project in the near future.

While eliminating millions of truck miles up and down the 710 Freeway, BNSF will clean up an existing industrial site and replace it with a new intermodal facility. SCIG will feature wide-span all-electric cranes, ultra-low-emission switching locomotives, and low-emission rail yard equipment.

BNSF also has committed to changing how trucks serve intermodal facilities by allowing only trucks meeting the port’s Clean Air Action Plan (CAAP) goal of 2010 or newer trucks to transport cargo between the marine terminals and the facility. By 2026, 90% of the truck fleet will be LNG or equivalent emissions vehicles. Trucks will be required to avoid residential areas by traveling on designated, industrial routes with GPS tracking to ensure compliance. BNSF has also agreed to contribute up to $3 million to the joint Port of Los Angeles–Port of Long Beach Technology Advancement Program to further development of zero-emission goods-movement technologies.

The railway company has committed to create a local jobs training program and offer priority hiring for new jobs to qualified local job applicants. It has concluded a project labor agreement worth $255 million with the Building and Construction Trades Council that will result in about 1,500 jobs per year during construction. By 2036, IHS Global Insight forecasts the facility will create 22,000 new direct and indirect jobs in Southern California, including 14,000 new direct and indirect jobs in Los Angeles.

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