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Southern California National Freight Gateway Collaboration

Release Date: 10/12/2007
Contact Information: Francisco Arcaute 213-244-1815

Signing of Cooperation Agreement


    SAN FRANCISCO --Today, key local, regional, state and federal agencies met at the Caltrans office in downtown Los Angeles to sign an historic agreement establishing the Southern California National Freight Gateway Collaboration.

    The collaboration will address the daunting environmental and infrastructure challenges presented by record growth of domestic and waterborne freight moving by ships, trucks and trains within and through the region. Over 40% of the nation’s imported goods enter the U.S. at the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles.

    California Secretary of Business, Transportation and Housing, Dale E. Bonner has joined Julie Nelson, Deputy Maritime Administrator, U.S. Department of Transportation and Chair of the Department’s interagency Southern California Freight Congestion team, Wayne Nastri, Regional Administrator, U.S. EPA and other local, state, and federal officials in the Collaboration.

    The group hopes to better facilitate cooperation, coordination, and collaboration on critical goods movement issues in the Southern California National Freight Gateway area, which encompasses five counties in Southern CA and extends from the Ports of Long Beach/Los Angeles to the border with Nevada and Arizona. These critical issues include, but are not limited to, existing and projected landside intermodal transportation system congestion (i.e., outside the Ports) and its potential impact on cargo throughput in the Ports, and environmental and community impacts caused by goods movement.

    "The explosive growth of trade projected over the next 20 years requires that decision makers at all levels of government join together to accelerate the pace of progress. The signing of this important agreement is a significant step forward in our collective efforts to address our most urgent needs and improve the overall performance of California's goods movement system," Bonner said. “The future health and welfare of Southern California depends on clearing the air and growing the economy. Improving the transport of freight through Southern California will lead to significant progress in meeting both of these goals,” Nelson added.

    The goal of the collaboration is to improve sustainable and efficient freight transportation operations in the Area, while protecting and enhancing health and safety, air quality, and the well-being of adjacent communities.

    Both the rail lines and freeways are already heavily congested, and with the expected 25% increase of regional population by 2030, the congestion problem will only get worse. In addition, more than 16 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) of containerized cargo are moved annually through the Ports, a volume that is expected to nearly triple to more than 42.5 million TEUs by 2030. While the benefits of these annual imports are clear – presently they have a value of more than $200 billion, support 2.8 million jobs, and generate $28 billion in state and local tax revenues – the costs are severe as well. For example, sources involved in goods movement are major contributors to ambient particulate levels in the South Coast Air Basin that are estimated to cause 5,400 premature deaths annually. “A cleaner, faster and more efficient goods movement sector is vital not only to the US economy, but to the health of our west coast communities. We are eager to work with our ports and goods movement partners to find bold and innovative solutions to environmental challenges,” Nastri said.

    Complete List of Signatories:
    Dale E. Bonner, Secretary, CA Business, Transportation and Housing Agency
    Linda Adams, Secretary, Environmental Protection Agency
    Mike Chrisman, Secretary, CA Resources Agency
    CA Air Resources Board
    U. S. Department of Transportation
    U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
    U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
    U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
    U.S. National Marine Fisheries Service
    Southern California Association of Governments
    South Coast Air Quality Management District
    Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority
    Orange County Transportation Authority
    Riverside County Transportation Commission
    San Bernardino Associated Governments
    Ventura County Transportation Commission
    Port of Los Angeles
    Port of Long Beach
    Port of Hueneme