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Readers React: BNSF’s proposed port rail yard poses health risks

To the editor: Jim Newton’s op-ed article on the recent court decision involving a proposed rail yard at the Port of Los Angeles dismissed the harm from air pollution on the project’s neighbors. (“How good environmental legislation goes wrong,” Opinion, April 21)

Newton claimed that the proposed Southern California International Gateway would reduce air pollution and traffic. The South Coast Air Quality Management District analysis found otherwise, leading us to file a lawsuit.

In his decision, Superior Court Judge Barry Goode wrote that the port’s analysis of air quality impacts was “highly misleading” and that it lacked substantial evidence to support its conclusions regarding reduced air pollution and traffic. In addition, he found that the proposal would lock in outdated technology for half a century, preventing the use of cleaner equipment.

The aim of our lawsuit was to require low-emission technologies at the rail yard to reduce adverse health effects on nearby residents and workers. They deserve nothing less.

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William A. Burke, Los Angeles

The writer is chairman of the South Coast Air Quality Management District.

Follow the Opinion section on Twitter @latimesopinion and Facebook


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