SAN PEDRO, Calif. – August 15, 2007 – Today the Los Angeles City Council approved, and forwarded to the Mayor, an agreement to terminate, under threat of condemnation, liquid bulk operator Westway Terminal Co. Inc.’s lease at Berths 69-71 at the Port of Los Angeles.  The agreement will become final upon the Mayor’s approval.  The agreement includes a $17 million lease buy-out for the remaining 18 years on the current lease, Port-controlled clean-up of the site, and the cessation of operations at Westway Terminal in mid to late 2008.

“The removal of these tanks from the San Pedro waterfront is something the community has wanted for a long time,” said Port executive director Geraldine Knatz, Ph.D., “and it is only with the support of Councilwoman Janice Hahn and the cooperation of Westway that we will finally be able to bring this part of the waterfront back to the people.  Thank you, Councilwoman Hahn.”

Upon Westway’s departure from the terminal, the Port will begin a thorough clean-up of the site.  A site characterization study will be completed and a clean up plan will be determined in cooperation with the Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board. A liquid bulk terminal has existed in this location along the Port’s Main Channel since the 1920s.  Currently the property has 136 storage tanks on approximately 14 acres of land.  Westway is finalizing a departure schedule.

The Westway agreement is part of the Port’s overall plan to de-industrialize operations along the waterfront and create a unified San Pedro Waterfront Project.  In the future, this area may be utilized as a maritime research and educational complex.

Brief history of the site:  The site is on a man-made peninsula constructed in the 1920's of dredging materials from the Main Channel.  It was occupied by warehouses and tank farms from the 1920's to mid-1940's which were operated by the U.S. Navy and various oil companies.  In 1946, Wilmington Dock and Wharf Company built new warehouses, and in 1958 some of the warehouses were replaced by tank farm facilities.  From 1957 to 1969, McGuire Chemical Company operated a tank farm, adding additional ASTs, retaining walls, and loading racks.  In 1968, GATX Terminals Corporation began operating the facility, with full occupation by 1970.  GATX installed additional ASTs, offices, and warehouses.  In 1996, GATX sold the facility to Westway Terminal Company.

Celebrating its Centennial in 2007, the Port of Los Angeles is America's premier port.  As the leading seaport in the nation in terms of shipping container volume and cargo value, the Port generates 259,000 regional jobs and $8.4 billion in annual wages and tax revenues.  A proprietary department of the City of Los Angeles, the Port is self-supporting and does not receive taxpayer dollars.  At the Port of Los Angeles, high priority is placed on responsible and sustainable growth initiatives, combined with high security, environmental stewardship and community outreach.  For its industry leading environmental initiatives, the Port received two Environmental Protection Agency awards in 2006.  The Port of Los Angeles – A Cleaner Port.  A Brighter Future.