OP-ED: Developer Phil Tagami Responds to Debate on Coal Transport Through Army Base

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July 23, 2015

 

By Phil Tagami

 

For over seven years, the City of Oakland (City), the Port of Oakland (Port), and California Capital & Investment Group (CCIG) together have embraced and vigilantly pursued a vision to transform the former Oakland Army Base to a state-of-the-art facility known as the Oakland Global Trade and Logistics Center (Oakland Global), setting new standards for economic vitality, job creation, and environmental improvement.

 

 

The vision and commitment have not changed for anyone.

 

Oakland Global will involve the collective investment of more than $820 million in private and public funds, many of those funds already having been committed.

 

It will establish 2,800 project construction jobs, 2,000 permanent waterfront jobs, an estimated 4,225 regional jobs, and produce up to $300 million annually in regional employment income, in a region suffering a crippling 17 percent unemployment rate currently.

 

Further, Oakland Global already is subject to over 660 mitigation mandates and conditions of approval imposed by the City and Port, including the establishment of a strict air quality regimen in compliance with regulations of the Bay Area Air Quality Management District.

 

At significant expense, three state-of–the-art air monitors were installed in West Oakland, the results of which are available daily on line at www.OaklandGlobal.com.

 

All operations and commodities processed at Oakland Global, including through the Oakland Bulk and Oversized Terminal (OBOT), will at all times be subject to and in compliance with federal, state, regional, and local laws and regulations.

 

The city’s entitlement of Oakland Global in 2012 was done in full and final compliance with the California Environmental Quality Act, those proceedings including adoption of a 2012 update to the original 2002 environmental impact report for the project.

 

Development of Oakland Global, both on the ground and in the securing of funding sources for the benefit of all Oakland, proceeds.

 

As to OBOT in the West Gateway portion of Oakland Global, CCIG has entered into an exclusive Option Agreement with Terminal Logistics Strategies (TLS) for the potential operation of OBOT. CCIG is the developer of OBOT, but will not be its operator.

 

Under the Option Agreement, TLS would operate OBOT in full compliance with and subject to the full breadth of rights and entitlements vested in OBOT by the City. CCIG and TLS have an arm’s-length, contractual relationship. CCIG did not “hire” TLS or any TLS employees or representatives.

 

At this time, neither CCIG nor TLS has committed to the transport of any particular commodity through OBOT.

 

As the potential operator of OBOT, TLS has committed to the City to surpass the obligations already imposed on Oakland Global, among other things committing that all rail transport – regardless of commodity – will occur utilizing newly designed covered rail cars and other measures to minimize and potentially eliminate fugitive dust issues.

 

OBOT’s construction and operations are designed consistent with the lawful expectations of potential customers – accommodating three or four of the full spectrum of approximately 15,000 bulk commodities regulated by federal law. This is standard industry practice and uniform at marine terminals throughout the United States.

 

As noted, there has been no commitment to include or exclude any particular commodity in the Oakland Global operations.

 

But regardless of any particular commodity, it is indisputable that operations of the completed Oakland Global project will set new standards in integrated modes and technologies, energy efficiency, and environmental standards.

 

In particular, air quality and emissions related to Port operations in and around West Oakland will be vastly improved under Oakland Global operating standards than without.

 

Job, economic vitality and revitalization, and improved environmental standards and conditions for the community. The vision and commitment have not changed.

 

For more information about Oakland Global, visit www.OaklandGlobal.com.

 

For further information or questions, contact: David C. Smith
Stice & Block, LLP [email protected] 949-923-8170.

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