Concerns fielded about proposed Oakland ballpark

Maritime groups tell California legislators not to give special treatment to Oakland Athletics.

Concerns fielded about proposed Oakland ballpark

Maritime groups tell California legislators not to give special treatment to Oakland Athletics.

Concerns fielded about proposed Oakland ballpark

Maritime groups tell California legislators not to give special treatment to Oakland Athletics.

 
A coalition of business trade associations, labor unions and environmental groups is asking California state legislators not to pass legislation that would further relax environmental protection laws so that a new ballpark for the Oakland Athletics could be built on the Port of Oakland’s Charles P. Howard Terminal.
    The coalition, which includes the Pacific Merchant Shipping Association, Harbor Trucking Association, various International Longshore and Warehouse Union locals, Sierra Club chapters, Agriculture Transportation Association and another dozen organizations asked state lawmakers “to avoid the introduction of any bills which would further erode the state environmental laws that apply to a stadium project,” adding they “would oppose any legislation relaxing the environmental laws that apply to the construction of a stadium project at Howard Terminal.”
    The PMSA, which represents marine terminals, ocean carriers and other waterfront businesses, has raised a number of concerns about the ballpark, including possible obstacles to trucks moving to and from marine terminals and infringement of the buffer around the port that separates it from housing. It also wants to make sure the stadium and housing would not be subsidized by seaport revenues.
    The San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission (BCDC) voted 15-4 on Jan. 17 to study possibly removing Howard Terminal as a “port priority use area” from the BCDC’s San Francisco Bay Plan and Seaport Plan.
    The commission also approved a contract with the Oakland A’s for the BCDC and consultants to conduct the analysis required by the commission to consider removing that port priority use area designation from the terminal.
   At the same time, the BCDC voted to begin the process of updating that San Francisco Bay Plan and Seaport Plan, which encompasses not only the Port of Oakland but the ports of San Francisco, Redwood City, Richmond and Benicia.
    The Howard Terminal once was used by Matson Line until it relocated in 2013 farther west on the Oakland Estuary to a terminal formerly used by APL.
    PMSA had opposed the BCDC action on Howard Terminal, saying it was premature since the Oakland A’s and Port of Oakland had not concluded negotiations for the property and that the ball team has no right to the property.
    Howard Terminal is currently used by truckers for short-term parking of tractors and containers. Mike Jacob, vice president and general counsel for the PMSA, told the BCDC that just because the terminal is no longer under long-term lease from the Port of Oakland does not mean it is not performing an important role in the port.
    “It is true that there is no long-term lease for traditional marine terminal operations at Howard Terminal, but just because you are not using the ship-to-shore cranes at present does not mean it is not being used," he said. "Between late 2016 and 2017 there were over 300,000 gate moves at Howard Terminal for intermodal trucking support. That’s a critical component of what we do and a critical component why you designate this property to be part of the seaport plan.”
   Richard Sinkoff, director of environmental programs and planning at the Port of Oakland, said at the Jan. 17 meeting that the agency had not yet taken a position on the stadium, but was supportive of BCDC's inquiry into the project. He said the Port of Oakland would evaluate the proposed ballpark as an entity that not only operates a seaport, but also the Oakland Airport and real estate operation that includes property at Jack London Square in downtown Oakland, a few blocks from the proposed stadium.
    Schnitzer Steel Industries, Inc., operates a 26.5-acre metal recycling yard and marine terminal adjacent to the Howard Terminal. Adam J. Simons, head of government and public affairs, West Region, for Schnitzer, in a joint letter with Jacob opposed modifying the BCDC’s Seaport Plan to remove Howard Terminal.
    They noted that one of the goals of the seaport plan is to “ensure the continuation of the San Francisco Bay port system as a major world port and contributor to the economic vitality of the San Francisco Bay region.”
    Meanwhile at the Jan. 17 meeting a couple of speakers raised questions about whether marine terminals in Selby, Calif., should be incorporated into the seaport plan.
    Nancy Rieser, a community activist, expressed concern about expansion of the nearby Phillips 66 refinery in Rodeo, saying that it would increase the number of tankers calling at the refinery docks from 59 to 135 ships annually.
   She and environmental groups such as Communities for a Better Environment said the company has plans to refine bitumen from tar sands at the facility.











One must wonder who the Trump administration is trying to punish with its growing enthusiasm for tariffs. The tariffs are offsetting much of the savings from tax cuts, and if this continues there could be tough months ahead.

South Carolina Ports Authority reported its busiest May in history as it handle 204,457 TEUs. Overall, its fiscal year-to-date totals are up 9.7% to 2.2 million TEUs.

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Concerns fielded about proposed Oakland ballpark

Maritime groups tell California legislators not to give special treatment to Oakland Athletics.

Feb 19, 2019 on Dec 27, 2018AmericanShipper.com

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Concerns fielded about proposed Oakland ballpark

Maritime groups tell California legislators not to give special treatment to Oakland Athletics.

Feb 19, 2019 on Dec 27, 2018AmericanShipper.com