BNSF seeks to overturn judge’s decision to halt rail yard’s expansion

[Source: Los Angeles Business Journal] BNSF Railway Co. said yesterday it will appeal a judge’s decision against the company’s $500 million project to expand a rail yard at the Port of Los Angeles.

The decision cites BNSF’s plan to build a 153-acre rail yard, called Southern California International Gateway, in west Long Beach.

The company argued the ruling by Contra Costa County Superior Court Judge Barry P. Goode was “incorrect.”

“The lower court applied an inappropriate evidentiary standard and disregarded a comprehensive eight-year environmental review in making its ruling,” the railroad company said in a statement.

The company added that until the ruling is reversed, the expansion of the project is not going to happen due to “the costs and delay brought on by CEQA lawsuits.”

The Port of Los Angeles said it will join the railroad company in appealing the judge’s decision.

“The SCIG project is vitally important to improve the efficiency of the entire San Pedro Bay Ports complex, the Alameda Corridor and the region,” said Gene Seroka, director of the Port of Los Angeles, in a statement. “The Port of Los Angeles prepared an environmental impact report that we strongly believe fully met all requirements of CEQA to inform public and decision-makers of the project’s effects.”

The project, if built, is expected to move up to 8,200 trucks a day and 2.8 million 20-foot containers by 2035.

Source: Los Angeles Business Journal
August 3, 2016