Stop the Port of Oakland’s pollution-generating expansion

What's At Stake

The Port of Oakland and the Army Corps of Engineers are moving forward with an expansion project that will allow more polluting megaships into the Bay Area — despite an inadequate environmental review that fails to consider how the expansion would impact the region and the neighboring environmental justice community of West Oakland in particular.  Join us in speaking out against the project at in-person meetings in the coming weeks.

The proposed project will widen the Turning Basins at the Port of Oakland to allow megaships more than 1,300 feet long, with the capacity to hold 19,000 containers, to dock at the Port. Right now, these vessels visit the Port very rarely — just once or twice a year.  If this plan moves forward, it will invite dramatically more megaships into the region, heightening the demands on Port infrastructure and generating increased air and water pollution as well as worsening truck traffic in nearby communities.  

Earlier this year, the Army Corps released a flawed environmental study that ignored the serious impacts of this project on air quality, water quality, the climate, and public health. Despite over 1,400 comments from our supporters and concerned members of the public telling the Army Corps to fix its analysis, it is choosing to move the project forward.  

Now, as the Port of Oakland conducts its own environmental report as required by law, we have an important opportunity to tell the Port that it cannot repeat the Army Corps’ mistakes and must thoroughly study the impacts of this project on West Oakland residents and the surrounding region.

This plan is unacceptable — the Port is already producing far too much pollution in the region, with acute impacts in West Oakland. In fact, West Oakland is one of the most pollution-burdened areas of the state, with elevated levels of diesel particulate matter, fine particulate matter (PM2.5), and toxic air contaminants. Diesel emissions billowing from trucks, trains, equipment, and ships at the Port are contributing to an ongoing public health crisis in West Oakland and nearby communities.  

Localized air pollution has serious consequences. 70% of West Oakland’s residents are people of color, and half of new childhood asthma cases in West Oakland are due to traffic-related air pollution, compared to about 20% of new childhood asthma cases in the nearby affluent and mostly White neighborhoods in the Oakland Hills. Asthma hospitalizations for West Oakland residents are 88% higher than the Alameda County average, and heart disease deaths are 33% higher. Allowing more megaships to visit the Port will further harm West Oakland and local communities along the freight corridor.  

We can’t allow the Port to double down on a failed and harmful status quo. Tell the Port to redo its analysis and recirculate a new Draft Environmental Impact Report that properly analyzes the air quality and other impacts of a major port expansion.

The Oakland skyline, behind the Port of Oakland.
The Oakland skyline, behind the Port of Oakland. The Port is one of the largest container ship facilities on the West Coast. (Chris Jordan-Bloch / Earthjustice)

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