More trucks to barrel through Barrio Logan

Tenth Avenue terminal expansion plans objectionable to environmentalists

A local environmental advocacy group is expressing its displeasure with a plan put forth by the Port of San Diego to expand operations at the Tenth Avenue Marine Terminal.

The port says modernization of the facility will allow for increased imports of fresh foods, military cargo, and construction materials. The Environmental Health Coalition, however, argues that this increased capacity will send another 800 diesel-powered semis barreling through Barrio Logan each day. The neighborhood is already one of San Diego's hardest hit communities in terms of air pollution.

"Within one-half mile of the proposed terminal expansion are parks, schools, neighborhoods, and healthcare facilities that would be impacted by a nearly 600 percent increase in air pollution and the resulting health hazards," coalition executive director Diane Takvorian said in an August 23 release. "The Port needs to go back to the drawing board to reduce its plans for expansion and increase its use of zero-emission trucks and electric shorepower for ships."

The port has taken steps to encourage pollution reduction such as providing funding for ship-to-shore electrical power supplies (to prevent ships from needing to idle their diesel engines while docked) and for retrofits of trucks with emission-reducing particulate filters. Still, the coalition appears to have state regulators on their side.

"Although the draft environmental impact report includes some features that begin to mitigate the air quality and health impacts from the proposed project, as recommended in our NOP comment letter, and given the health and air quality impacts, [California Air Resources Board] suggests further incorporating more zero and near zero technologies that are commercially available now and by full build-out in 2035," said Heather Arias, freight transport branch chief at the California Air Resources Board and quoted in the coalition release.

Public comment on the port's draft environmental impact report ended August 18. Those comments are now under review before further action is taken.

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Comments

Live near an airport, expect planes. Live near a shipping port, expect ships and trucks. Boo hoo, move to El Centro

No mention of increased use of rail to serve the port. Maybe, just maybe, more trains would make the reopening of the rail line to the east a viable proposition. Fewer trucks means less crowded freeways, and current rail locomotive technology has cleaned up on emissions. Nah, never happen. We love our 18-wheelers too much.

How about just relocating all the people there to more appropriate areas? I understand the history of the community there, but the pollution is just too much to justify remaining there, unless they completely rezoned the area.

Besides it's nothing but a cesspool of poverty and gangs, why would anyone wish to remain there? You can't even walk outside after 5pm or take a decent jog. I lived there for a while to save money, then got out as soon as I saved enough, I just can't see myself or anyone with a sense of standards and decency raising his or her kids there.

Get rid of it, it's as awful today as the Five Points were in New York over a century ago.

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