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BNSF Calls Los Angeles City Council Approval of $500 Million SCIG Project a Vote for Jobs and a Greener Economy

LOS ANGELES, May 8, 2013 –BNSF Railway called today’s  Los Angeles City Council vote to approve BNSF’s Southern California International Gateway (SCIG) project a significant vote for jobs and a greener economy. The $500 million facility, located within four miles of the San Pedro Bay ports, will shorten the distance trucks loaded with cargo need to travel before transferring the containers to rail, instead of traveling 24 miles up the 710 Freeway. SCIG will support the competitiveness and accommodate forecasted growth of the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, which handle more than 40 percent of the nation’s container cargo and account for more than a million jobs in California. 

“We applaud the Los Angeles City Council, the Mayor’s Office and the Port of Los Angeles Harbor Commissioners for their commitment to green growth. With their input, BNSF’s SCIG project is setting a new standard of excellence in reducing emissions and realizing a positive impact on local communities,” said Matthew K. Rose, BNSF Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. “We appreciate the leadership of Mayor Villaraigosa and Councilman Buscaino and the support from a wide range of stakeholders to make today possible. We are investing more than $500 million in private funds to build this state-of-the-art facility, which will help keep the San Pedro ports competitive, and we look forward to the jobs, air quality and traffic benefits the facility will bring to Southern California.”

According to Los Angeles City Councilman Joe Buscaino, “SCIG will be the greenest intermodal facility in the United States and will set the standard for future projects, by including more than $100 million in green technologies, clean trucks and funding for zero emissions research. This project demonstrates that it’s possible to achieve air quality and health risk improvements and keep the international trade industry in Southern California strong.”

Maria Elena Durazo, Executive Secretary–Treasurer of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO, added, “SCIG will create thousands of good construction jobs and thousands of permanent jobs at a time when unemployment still remains high. We also applaud BNSF for being a leader in creating the nation’s greenest intermodal facility, significantly improving air quality and decreasing health risks in our communities.”

While eliminating millions of truck miles from the 710 Freeway, BNSF will clean up an existing industrial site and replace it with a new intermodal facility featuring wide-span, all-electric cranes, ultra-low emission switching locomotives and low-emission rail yard equipment.

In addition to these innovations, BNSF has committed to allow only trucks meeting the San Pedro Bay Ports Clean Air Action Plan (CAAP) goal of allowing only trucks built in or after 2010 to transport cargo between the marine terminals and the facility. By 2026, 90 percent of the truck fleet will be LNG or equivalent emissions vehicles. Trucks will be required to avoid residential areas by traveling on designated, industrial routes with GPS tracking to ensure compliance. BNSF will also implement a phase-in of zero or near-zero emissions technologies into specifications for drayage trucks serving SCIG when they are determined to be technically and commercially feasible.

BNSF has agreed to contribute up to $3 million to the joint Port of Los Angeles-Port of Long Beach Technology Advancement Program to further the development of zero-emission goods-movement technologies.

BNSF will build a soundwall along the eastern side of the Terminal Island Freeway and plant intensive landscaping on both sides of the freeway.

BNSF has committed to create a local jobs training program and offer priority hiring for new jobs to qualified local job applicants.  BNSF has signed a Project Labor Agreement worth $255 million with the Building and Construction Trades Council that will result in approximately 1,500 jobs per year during construction. By 2036, IHS Global Insight forecasts the facility will create 22,000 new direct and indirect jobs in Southern California, including 14,000 new direct and indirect jobs in Los Angeles.

About BNSF

BNSF Railway is one of North America's leading freight transportation companies operating on 32,500 route miles of track in 28 states and two Canadian provinces. BNSF is one of the top transporters of consumer goods, grain and agricultural products and industrial goods. BNSF's shipments help feed, clothe, supply, and power American homes and businesses every day. BNSF and its employees have developed one of the most technologically advanced, and efficient railroads in the industry. We work continuously to improve the value of the safety, service, energy, and environmental benefits we provide to our customers and the communities we serve. You can learn more about BNSF at www.BNSF.com. Learn more about SCIG on Facebook, Twitter  and at BNSFConnects.com