News Links Archive

Archived news stories on trade, environmental health, ports and goods movement

June 2011
Added June 16, 2011:
Report: CenterPoint plans second Joliet intermodal. CenterPoint Properties apparently plans to build a second intermodal yard in Joliet. In an interview with CenterPoint CEO Michael Mullen published Monday, Crain’s Chicago Business reported that the company plans to build a 300-acre train-to-truck terminal at its Joliet site in addition to the Union Pacific intermodal yard there now. Mullen and other CenterPoint officials could not be reached for comment on plans for Joliet despite repeated attempts Monday by The Herald-News.The Herald-News, Chicago, IL. http://heraldnews.suntimes.com/news/5944340-418/report-centerpoint-plans-second-joliet-intermodal.html
Letter-writing campaign has goal of 5,000 JaxPort lobby letters "Bring the Noise" sounds like the slogan for fans of a sport team. But for a group of businesses backing expansion of Jacksonville's port, Bring the Noise is a letter-writing campaign asking local, state and federal officials to make Jacksonville "the shipping capital of the U.S. East Coast." The Florida Times-Union, Jacksonville, FL.http://jacksonville.com/business/2011-06-08/story/letter-writing-campaign-has-goal-5000-jaxport-lobby-letters#ixzz1PUALRo5i
Air-quality regulators to study health effects of San Bernardino Rail Yard. Southern California air-quality regulators are sponsoring an in-depth study to determine if the San Bernardino Rail Yard, a major inland hub of goods shipped across the U.S., has caused an increase in cancer and asthma in the neighboring low-income communities. The study comes two years after the California Air Resources Board determined that diesel emissions from locomotives, big-rigs and other equipment at the facility posed a significant health risk to thousands of residents living near the site, and that the facility posed the greatest cancer risk of any rail yard in California. LA Times, Los Angeles, CA. http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-air-quality-20110609,0,5176143.story
California bill to ban owner-operators at ports tabled. California port truckers, including owner-operators, no longer have to concern themselves with a bill that was described as ill-advised by industry representatives. The bill called for all drayage truck operators, as well as any owner-operators going onto a port, to be employees of the companies that arrange for their services. The change would have effectively banned owner-operators from the ports. LandLine, Grain Valley, MO. http://www.landlinemag.com/todays_news/Daily/2011/Jun11/060611/060711-02.shtml
Unplugged Supertankers and the Diesel Death Zone at LA’s Port Residents of the South Coast Air Quality Basin are caught in a Catch 22 with regard to the new Plains All American supertanker berth: No air quality agency regulates the plugging into shore-side power by the supertankers that will soon dock in Los Angeles; not the South Coast Quality Management District (AQMD) nor the California Air Quality Board (CARB). CityWatchLA, Los Angeles, CA. http://www.citywatchla.com/4box-right/1774-unplugged-supertankers-and-the-diesel-death-zone-at-las-port
Port receives $481M from HUD. The Port of Gulfport has received the final $481 million in federal funds to complete Katrina restoration and elevation to 25 feet, a project that will take six years. The restoration and elevation will quadruple the port’s capacity. That would mean the potential addition of an estimated 2,000 jobs at the port and 6,300 in the community. The port is completing an economic development study that will yield more specific job estimates. Sun Herald, Gulfport, MS. http://www.sunherald.com/2011/06/08/3180757/port-receives-481m-from-hud.html#ixzz1PUAqoS4u
County's Environmental Experts to Review, Report On Impacts of Train-Truck Facility. The county council unanimously voted on Monday for the Environmental Sustainability Board to help local officials understand reports about potential impacts of having an intermodal facility in Howard County. Two of the four sites under consideration for the train-truck facility in central Maryland are in Howard County—one is in Hanover (Race/Hanover Roads) and the other is in Jessup (Montevideo Road near Dorsey Run Road).Elkridge Patch, Elkridge, MD. http://elkridge.patch.com/articles/countys-environmental-experts-to-review-report-on-impacts-of-train-truck-facility
Metro Weighs Options for Spending Federal Transportation Funds. On Friday, June 3, the Portland Bureau of Transportation convened a meeting to hear public input on three proposed improvements projects, which would make use of Portland’s $2.4 million share of the Regional Flexible Funds budget during the 2014-2015 cycle.Every two years, members of the Joint Policy Advisory Council on Transportation (JPACT) and Metro council decide how to spend their allotment of a federal funds for transportation projects, known locally as the Regional Flexible Funds (RFF). Neighborhood Notes, Portland, OR. http://www.neighborhoodnotes.com/news/2011/06/metro_weighs_options_for_spending_federal_transportation_funds/
Road charging: Heavy lorries to pay for costs of air and noise pollutionEU Transport Commissioner Siim Kallas welcomed the vote by European Parliament today, giving its final approval to proposals for new EU rules to allow Member States to charge heavy lorries, not only for the costs of infrastructure which is currently the case, but also to levy an additional charge to cover the cost or air and noise pollution The revision of the current “Eurovignette Directive” will also enable Member States to better manage problems of congestion, with a new flexibility to vary the charge for heavy lorries (by up to 175%) at different times of the day. Importantly the vote also provides for “earmarking” so new charging revenues ar set aside for investment to improve transport infrastructure (TEN-T) projects. Iewy News, Oxford, UK. http://www.iewy.com/27971-road-charging-heavy-lorries-to-pay-for-costs-of-air-and-noise-pollution-3.html
CARB: Clean Fuel Use by Ships Reduced Coastal Pollution. A major 2010 state-federal atmospheric research project has found that California’s first-in-the-nation regulation requiring oceangoing vessels to use clean fuel when near the coast has been extremely effective in reducing sulfur dioxide pollution from ships. The data were gathered during a study organized by the California Air Resources Board and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The Log, CA. http://www.thelog.com/news/logNewsArticle.aspx?a=4&b=14&x=12355
CSX Transportation breaks ground on $100 million Massachusetts rail-yard expansion. Yesterday, CSX Transportation officials joined Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick and Lt. Gov. Timothy Murray to mark the start of construction on a $100 million expansion of CSXT’s rail facility in Worcester. The groundbreaking marks “an important milestone” in CSXT’s rail transportation agreement with Massachusetts, which was designed to expand the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) commuter-rail service and improve the state’s transportation infrastructure, MBTA officials said in a prepared statement. Progressive Railroading. http://www.progressiverailroading.com/news/article/CSX-Transportation-breaks-ground-on-100-million-Massachusetts-railyard-expansion--26832
Cargo baggage A rebound in international trade offers a reminder of unfinished business: The Inland region still needs aid with the heavy burdens of goods movement. And that task will require federal help in cutting the traffic congestion and air pollution that result from the cargo trade. The Los Angeles Economic Development Corp. released a report this month showing strong growth in port traffic in 2010 and projecting continued expansion in 2011. Press-Enterprise, Riverside, California. http://www.pe.com/localnews/opinion/editorials/stories/PE_OpEd_Opinion_D_op_29_ed_ports.3a07c7a.html
Black Carbon Testing Finds High Levels When the City Council passed an ordinance in early April to reduce emissions from construction equipment working on city jobs, it touched on a larger problem: harmful amounts of diesel exhaust in Chicago’s air. Residents of several neighborhoods are most likely exposed to diesel emissions at levels several times higher than the national average for urban areas, testing by the Chicago News Cooperative shows. NY Times, New York, NY. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/22/us/22cnccarbon.html?_r=3
Norfolk Southern McCalla hub on track for 2012 opening. Norfolk Southern's $97.5 million railroad hub in McCalla won't create that many direct jobs, but officials said Monday the project will deliver a major economic boost to the area. Norfolk Southern Chief Executive Wick Moorman called the hub an "anchor" to the company's $2.5 billion Crescent Corridor project that aims to boost the use of rail-to-truck shipping containers from New Orleans to New York. Alabama Live, Birmingham, AL. http://blog.al.com/businessnews/2011/06/norfolk_southern_mccalla_hub_o.html
Residents address train noise, pollution concerns to Union Pacific rep. Glen Ellyn residents voiced their concerns about train staging along the Union Pacific West Line at Monday’s Village Board meeting, which railroad representatives attended. “We were asked to come, and it’s our pleasure to be here,” said Thomas Zapler, director of public affairs for Union Pacific Railroad. Warrenville Press, St. Downers Grove, IL. http://www.mysuburbanlife.com/warrenville/topstories/x1394814779/Residents-address-train-noise-pollution-concerns-to-Union-Pacific-rep
Group forms to monitor container terminals. Some members of an organization representing about 20 island neighborhoods have formed a separate nonprofit group they say is meant to protect the city from pollution, noise and other effects of container terminals at the Port of Galveston. But the head of Galveston’s port said the drive is meant to prevent container terminals from ever being developed here. GalvestoneDaily News, Galvestone, TX. http://galvestondailynews.com/story/234762

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