The Southern California International Gateway (SCIG) is a planned $500+ million investment by BNSF to build a new, state-of-the-art intermodal rail yard facility located within four miles of the San Pedro Bay ports, resulting in improvement of both traffic congestion and air quality in the region. BNSF committed to making SCIG the greenest intermodal facility in the U.S., by investing more than $130 million in green technology, including electric cranes, ultra-low emissions switching locomotives and liquefied natural gas (LNG) or equivalent yard equipment.
SCIG would reduce diesel particulate matter and improve health risk compared to the heavy industrial operations currently at the site, providing a great health benefit to neighboring communities, At the same time, it would support the competitiveness of the ports, eliminate 1.3 million annual truck trips on the I-710 to rail yards near downtown Los Angeles more than 24 miles away, create tens of thousands of jobs and increase use of the Alameda Corridor.
On Friday, January 12, 2018, the California Court of Appeal overturned the trial court’s 2016 ruling against BNSF Railway and the Port of Los Angeles on nearly all issues regarding the environmental impact report (EIR) for the planned Southern California International Gateway (SCIG) near-dock intermodal rail project. The Court of Appeal concluded that the EIR’s analysis of the Hobart rail yard, greenhouse gas emissions, noise, and traffic complied with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). The SCIG EIR’s air quality analysis of ambient air concentrations was the one issue on which the Court of Appeal determined additional analysis was required. In April 2018, the California Supreme Court denied a petition to review the Court of Appeal’s January 2018 decision.
BNSF is pleased that the California Supreme Court upheld the Appeals Court ruling and maintained the existing scope of CEQA. The company is coordinating with the Port of Los Angeles regarding next steps.