|Honda Port of Entry May Not Be Good For
Your Health - DEIR Out For Public Comment
July 28, 2008
The Honda Port of Entry is a good project for the City of Richmond, and I support it. It will intensify use of port property owned by the City of Richmond and restricted to port use by the Seaport Plan while increasing revenue for the City of Richmond. The project is also a good neighbor to the resources of Rosie the Riveter WWII Home Front National Historical Park.
However, the project has potential adverse impacts on residents of Richmond. The good news is that all of them can be mitigated. The bad news is that the draft EIR does not recognize some of the impacts and glosses over others. Residents of the neighborhoods of Point Richmond, Brickyard Cove, Santa Fe, Coronado, Cortez-Stege and even Pullman should respond to the DEIR and take particular interest in a further degradation of air quality in their neighborhoods. Click here for a map showing increased cancer risks in south Richmond. The DEIR states:
Given the significance threshold of 10 cancers per million persons, the incremental increase in cancer risk that would result from implementation of the project would constitute a less–than–significant impact.(6-29)
The project’s ongoing operations would also add to ozone precursor emissions on a regional basis and would incrementally add to PM10, PM2.5, and CO emissions on a local basis. Based on the procedure for evaluating cumulative impacts of projects specified by the BAAQMD CEQA Guidelines, any project that would individually have a significant air quality impact would also be considered to have a significant cumulative air quality impact. Thus, because the project’s operational emissions would be significant and unavoidable (see Impact 6–2), the project’s operational emissions would also have a significant cumulative impact on air quality.(6-30)
I get just a little satisfaction in believing there is a special place in hell reserved for EIR consultants who ignore, downplay, whitewash and outright lie about impacts of projects for which they are paid to provide unbiased analyses. I don’t know if they are stupid, or whores, or both, but they deserve to spend an eternity suffering from the air pollution, water pollution, light pollution, noise pollution, cancers and other diseases that they are paid to trivialize and minimize while the rest of use spend our own time and money doing what government is supposed to do for us.
In this case, the City of Richmond is both the project sponsor and the lead agency for the project. The City is paying the EIR consultant, reviewing its work and making final judgments about the conclusions. If that’s not a conflict of interest, I don’t know what is.
Click here for Other concerns regarding the DEIR, which include a failure to mitigate air pollution, greenhouse gases, grade crossing blockages, noise from increased train traffic, glare from tall mast lighting and access to San Francisco Bay and Rosie the Riveter WWII Home Front National Historical Park.
What can you do? Get involved. Read the DEIR and file your comments before August 18, 2008, 5:00pm. Make this a better project for all of Richmond.
Information about the project, access to documents, filing period for comments, and who to contact follow:
Auto Warehousing Company (AWC), in cooperation with the TransDevelopment Group, is proposing to construct improvements to the existing Point Potrero Marine Terminal (PPMT) that would include creating a new rail yard adjacent to the ship berths at the PPMT so that imported autos could be loaded directly onto rail cars without the current intermediary step of shuttling them to the Burlington–Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) rail yard. Minor improvements to one of the existing ship berths would also be made, consisting of repairs to the concrete deck pavement, installation of new bull rail at the edge of the berth, and installation of new rubber dock fenders on the side of the berth.
Environmental Impact Report
Notice of Completion
The City of Richmond Planning Department has prepared a Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR). The DEIR is available for review at the City of Richmond Main Public Library and/or purchase at the City of Richmond Planning Department. Please mail or email your written response to this Notice of Completion and Availability no later than 45 days after the date on this notice (by Monday, August 18, 2008, 5:00pm) to:
Slaughter, Assistant Planner
Please include in your written response the name and phone number of a contact person in your agency.
As part of this review process, the City of Richmond Planning Department will hold a public meeting on the DEIR. The purpose of this public hearing is to provide the public the opportunity to comment on the DEIR. This public meeting will be held on Tuesday, August 5, 2006, 6:00pm, in the Council Chambers, City Hall, 1401 Marina Way South, Richmond. Please note that the Planning Department’s review at this meeting will be limited to review and comments on the DEIR. A separate public hearing will be held to discuss the merits of this project.
Notice of Preparation
The City of Richmond will prepare an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for the Honda Port of Entry project, and is requesting input regarding the scope and content of the environmental information to be presented in the EIR.
Please mail or email your written response to this Notice of Preparation no later than 30 days after the date on this notice to:
Slaughter, Assistant Planner
Additional details about the proposed project, including a location map and site plan, are presented in the Initial Study below.