BNSF Falsely Claims Marginalized Communities “Better Off” with Proposed Railyard; Public Hearing Tonight
In a sadly misunderstood and ill-grounded editorial, the Press-Telegram endorsed Burlington Northern Santa Fe’s (BNSF) proposed 153-acre railyard project west of the 710 freeway, the Southern California International Gateway (SCIG). The endorsement comes right before a public hearing featuring demonstrations from some 20 community organizations who will offer evidence denouncing the benefits of the project as well as proposals for a new site.
The initial draft environmental impact report (DEIR) released September of last year was re-visited due to overwhelming complaints from community members and groups, particularly the South Coast Air Quality Management district. BNSF then re-circulated the EIR (RDEIR) in a study that was, in some sense, relatively the same as the first which, by the way, stated clear and significant health hazards.
When asking BNSF to comment in regards to the fact that the RDEIR is heavily contested, BNSF correspondent Lena Kent replied, “The updated DEIR completed by the [Port of Los Angeles] affirms that building SCIG is better than the no project alternative or continuing with the current use at the site. The report shows that residents, students, teachers, and workers nearby would be better off with the project than without the project, in terms of air quality and health risk improvements, as well as all of those living, working, and going to school along the I-710 freeway. We think if folks review the report, the benefits will be clear.”
Sounding oddly reflective of BNSF’s (obvious) support of the project, the P-T continued along the same lines with their stance:
“[BNSF] says its proposed [SCIG] railyard would eliminate about 2 million [sic] annual truck trips, with most of the relief targeted for the Long Beach (710) Freeway. [...] The revised report essentially says the same as the study released last year: that local residents and schools are better off with BNSF’s proposed railyard[.]“
Firstly, it seems no one has actually read the report. Read more…