More Efficient Process Ensures Port of Los Angeles Stays Competitive; Safety Remains Paramount

SAN PEDRO, Calif. — Dec. 6, 2012 — A newly passed Los Angeles ordinance will streamline the permitting process for future Port of Los Angeles construction projects, allowing the Port to remain competitive, ensure safety and forge ahead on its five-year, $1.2 billion Capital Improvement Plan that will create more than 19,000 one-year equivalent construction jobs.
“This collaboration between the Harbor Department and the Department of Building and Safety makes the permit process for our critical maritime projects more efficient while continuing our strict safety standards,” said Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. “This keeps the nation’s busiest port competitive and makes new construction jobs available sooner.”
“Streamlining the permitting process for maritime-related construction projects is an essential component to the Port’s ability to remain the number one trade gateway in the nation,” said Los Angeles City Councilman Joe Buscaino. “Through the establishment of this project permitting agreement with the Department of Building and Safety, the Port can now move forward, in an expedited manner, with projects that will increase cargo movement capacity and terminal efficiency while simultaneously reducing the environmental impacts of port operations to our surrounding communities.
“As a city we cannot ignore the impending threat to our local economy that comes with the expansion of the Panama Canal,” said Los Angeles City Councilman Ed P. Reyes, who earlier this year led a City Council policy discussion regarding the economic impact the Panama Canal expansion would have in Los Angeles. “The Port of Los Angeles is one of our region’s greatest economic engines, so it was vital that our city family work in unison to streamline permitting operations for which the Harbor Department has unique expertise.”
“This is a very forward-thinking solution because our marine terminal facilities include massive gantry cranes and other specialized cargo-handling equipment – operational components found nowhere else in the city,” added Port Executive Director Geraldine Knatz, Ph.D. “The Harbor Department has the knowledge and relationships with our terminal operators to manage safe and expedient installation of that equipment and the infrastructure it requires.”
Working with the Department of Building and Safety, the new ordinance amends the city’s Building Code to provide a more efficient and suitable permitting process for maritime projects. “The Harbor Department and the Department of Building and Safety will continue to work together to ensure the highest level of safety for all projects,” said Building and Safety’s General Manager Bud Ovrom.  “We are pleased that this action has contributed as a major step towards accelerating many improvements of this world class port.”
The Port’s capital improvement projects include spending $1.2 billion over the next five years to provide superior cargo terminals, rail and warehouse infrastructure to retain and attract top business tenants from around the world. In addition to cargo-related infrastructure, the Port is also spending a portion of its capital budget on community, recreational and educational projects.
The Port of Los Angeles is America’s premier port and has a strong commitment to developing innovative strategic and sustainable operations that benefit the economy as well as the quality of life for the region and the nation it serves. As the leading seaport in North America in terms of shipping container volume and cargo value, the Port generates more than 830,000 regional jobs and $35 billion in annual wages and tax revenues. The Port of Los Angeles – A cleaner port.  A brighter future.