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The Los Angeles City Council recently voted to approve BNSF Railway Co.'s proposed Southern California International Gateway (SCIG) intermodal facility that would serve the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, Calif.To be located within four miles of the ports, the $500 million facility would shorten the distance trucks need to travel before transferring containers to rail. Trucks now travel 24 miles up the 710 Freeway.In addition to eliminating millions of truck miles from the freeway, BNSF will clean up an existing industrial site and replace it with a new intermodal facility featuring environmentally friendly wide-span electric cranes, ultra-low-emission switching locomotives and low-emission rail yard equipment, BNSF officials said in a press release. The Class I has committed to allow only trucks built in 2010 or afterward to transport cargo between the marine terminals and the SCIG facility. Trucks also will be required to avoid residential areas by traveling on designated, industrial routes with GPS tracking to ensure compliance, BNSF officials said. Moreover, the railroad has agreed to contribute up to $3 million to the joint Port of Los Angeles-Port of Long Beach Technology Advancement Program to further the development of zero-emission goods-movement technologies. The Class I also has committed to create a local jobs training program and prioritize hiring for new jobs to qualified local applicants, BNSF officials said. "SCIG will be the greenest intermodal facility in the United States and will set the standard for future projects by including more than $100 million in green technologies, clean trucks and funding for zero emissions research," said Los Angeles City Councilman Joe Buscaino.The L.A. council approval is a significant vote for jobs and a greener economy, BNSF officials said."We applaud the Los Angeles City Council, the mayor's office and the Port of Los Angeles Harbor Commissioners for their commitment to green growth. With their input, BNSF's SCIG project is setting a new standard of excellence in reducing emissions and realizing a positive impact on local communities," said BNSF Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Matt Rose.
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