NRDC stands with community members and coalition partners in the Campaign for a Healthy and Responsible Port in support of a different vision for south Oxnard where residents can enjoy clear air, high-quality and safe job opportunities, access to the unique and important coastline, and build community power. In support of this vision, NRDC joined coalition members CAUSE, the Wishtoyo Chumash Foundation, and Earthjustice in an appeal to the Oxnard City Council of a proposed temporary car storage site that would serve the Port of Hueneme and be operated by port customer GLOVIS.
This is an opportunity for the Oxnard City Council to stand with impacted communities and hold the Port and port customers accountable and require them to be transparent, invest in zero-emissions technology, and consult with residents in their planning decisions to avoid further concentrating industrial uses next to communities and blocking coastal access.
We need to protect our community’s vision and make the beach more accessible to families. Join us to protect Ormond Beach by speaking at the Oxnard City Council meeting on Dec. 6th! Take action now by using our one-click email https://t.co/ghsEgC1D3j! pic.twitter.com/tqsCN15BOB
— CAUSE805 (@CAUSE805) November 30, 2022
Don’t Make Oxnard a Diesel Death Zone
The environmental analysis for this proposed project underestimates the air quality impacts by inaccurately portraying this project as simply shifting car storage, rather than contributing to a growth in car imports moving through the Port. This is contradicted by many statements made by the Port, including estimates that the project will bring 60,000 more cars through the Port. In reality, this project is part of a larger plan to expand and attract more cars and other cargo, meaning more diesel-fueled trucks and trains running through south Oxnard.
Residents are already overburdened by air pollution. The neighborhoods surrounding the site experience some of the highest levels of diesel emissions in the country. It’s no accident that these neighborhoods are home to many low-income families, Latino immigrants, farmworkers, and indigenous language speakers. Concentrating port expansions next to these neighborhoods is inequitable and discriminatory.
Project Is One Piece of Bigger Expansion Plans
The Port has made much of the temporary nature of this project. They tout how the site will not be paved and their commitment to remove most of the project features after the permit expires in five years. While on the surface this sounds reasonable, in truth the harm to health, air quality, safety, and sensitive species and habitats would not be temporary. There are several documents that were made public through record requests that show that this 34-acre project is planned as a “stopgap” to a larger port expansion project: a 250-acre multimodal logistics site. The Port, the City, and port customers have been in conversations for years about this 250-acre expansion project and the Port has even signed formal agreements related to this project.
Even assuming the 34-acre site does stop being used to store cars after five years, the damage will be done. The increase in car imports and exports and associated air pollution from the trucks and trains that move them to dealerships across the country will likely continue to grow through the 250-acre site and other planned port expansions. And remediating the 34 acres after thousands of parked cars have packed the soil may not be possible. Species like the burrowing owl, northern tidewater gobies, and California horned lark that rely on this property in its current state for habitat, foraging, breeding, mating, and migration may be permanently disrupted or displaced.
Equitable Coastal Access
Ormond Beach is a place of refuge for many local residents, in addition to being a irreplaceable ecosystem along with the nearby Ormond Beach Wetlands. This project is proposed for the last piece of undeveloped land between south Oxnard neighborhoods and Ormond Beach. Rather than choosing to use these 34 acres to bring much-needed green space to south Oxnard, if the City approves this project it will create yet another barrier between communities and the coastline. It’s hard to imagine that an industrial project that would separate a Malibu or Montecito neighborhood from the beach would be approved – so why is it acceptable in south Oxnard?
There is no question that Oxnard residents deserve access to high-quality union jobs. However, that’s not what this project offers. Over the five years the site will operate, it will create 14 non-union jobs through GLOVIS and temporary construction jobs. The Port claims more jobs will be created by this project but that’s inconsistent with the environmental analysis prepared for this project. This project cannot be both a “temporary” project consolidating existing car storage and a job creator at the same time; if the City believes this project will bring more jobs to Oxnard, then it must require the Port to redo its environmental analysis to encompass the full scope and impacts of the project.
Join NRDC in supporting the community’s vision for clear air, safe access to the beach, high-quality jobs, and a say in what happens in their neighborhoods!
Submit a letter by December 5th to the City of Oxnard telling them to put people and health over profit and carry out a complete study of the 34-acre GLOVIS project!
This blog provides general information, not legal advice. If you need legal help, please consult a lawyer in your state.