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Port Of San Diego Approves Controversial Marine Terminal Expansion

Photo credit: Michael Schuerman

Cargo containers for Dole Fresh Fruit Co., a Port of San Diego tenant, are lifted off a ship at the 10th Avenue Marine Terminal, June 1, 2014.

The Port of San Diego commissioners voted unanimously to remove two huge warehouses that crowd the 10th Avenue Terminal's shipping berths. Removing those buildings allows the cargo facility to significantly boost business.

But intitial plans for the renovation raised concerns of nearby residents who worried increasing cargo through the facility would increase pollution in Barrio Logan.

San Diego's Port is moving forward with plans to expand the 10th Avenue Marine terminal and the expansion comes with the blessing of community advocates.

"The expansion plan called for an increase of 600 percent in cargo throughput as well as trucks, ships and all activity at the port. That's almost 800 truck trips a day, more, so that was why it was a big concern," said Diane Takvorian, executive director of the Environmental Health Coalition.

Tekvorian praised the revised plan. It calls for less cargo, electrified cargo handling gear, strategies for reducing diesel emission from docked ships and other strategies aimed at reducing the impact of the renovation. Those plans addressed many of the residents concerns and they were well received by port commissioners.

"To be able to advance a project where we're promoting green technology, protecting our air, and creating jobs, it really means a lot to me. I think this is a very important day at the port,. I'm very proud of what we have accomplished," said Rafael Castellanos, a port commissioner.

Port officials said they'll also look at doing more in the nearby community of Barrio Logan. That includes looking into adding air filters to Perkins elementary school so children can study in pollution-free rooms.

Neighborhood advocates are also pushing for a community advisory board that will be able to review any upcoming port projects.

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