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    Saying "No" To Port Expansion

    Bixby Knolls & Los Altos, 2004

    Bixby Knolls, Belmont Shore,
    Downtown, WLB & NLB, 2004?

    (Sept. 14, 2004) -- The Port of Long Beach is proposing to expand what it calls "Pier J," that sprawling industrial extension that has spread into LB's downtown oceanfront, by a staggering 115 acres.

    The Port's "Environmental Impact Report" (EIR) is predictable from an entity that contends it should expand even if this worsens air pollution beyond current levels (Source: Port of LB opposition to AB 2042). The Port has maintained this extreme position even after being warned that pollution from its operations increases cancer risks, is linked to heart and pulmonary diseases, and brings children higher asthma rates and abnormally stunted lungs.

    Meanwhile, 90+% of the Port's cargo containers remain not physically inspected...and Pier J would bring even more containers that won't be physically inspected. The EIR doesn't even seriously discuss the homeland security risks from more uninspected containers...and the additional public safety resources needed to address this.

    In our view, the Port's traditional "defense" on these issues (amounts to: we can't control it) isn't a defense. If the Port can't control pollution and can't ensure container safety now, these are good reasons for not inviting more pollution and more containers.

    We are not surprised that the Port would claim that expanding Pier J will reduce pollution. This turns history on its head. Expanding the Port has never decreased pollution...and sadly, no one should expect otherwise from a Port that justifies growth even with increased pollution.

    When an undemocratically governed Port tries to defend an EIR that downplays health and safety issues, LB's elected City Council -- whose job it is to protect public health and safety -- should proudly say "No."

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