Yesterday, the Port of San Diego adopted a plan to expand the Tenth Avenue Marine Terminal in a sustainable way to protect public health and the quality of life for our communities.

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More than 500 community members successfully urged The Port to reduce pollution and incorporate community benefits into Tenth Avenue Marine Terminal expansion. Thanks to you, our voices were heard.

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Because of your efforts, the official Tenth Avenue Marine Terminal expansion plan now includes:

  • Maximum cargo throughput that is 25 percent less than in the original plan
  • 36 new pieces of electric cargo handling equipment
  • Mandatory equipment that captures and treats smokestack emissions for ships that cannot plug into shore side electricity
  • Annual equipment inventory and technology review to identify new opportunities for emission reduction
  • A renewable energy project on the terminal, such as solar panels on warehouse buildings, or an equivalent locally approved program for greenhouse gas reductions

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Thank you for making our community voice heard. We look forward to working with The Port to support a historic plan that puts environmental justice first.

Dia de los Muertos is a cultural holiday honoring the lives of friends and family who have passed away. The day celebrates the lives of those lost rather than mourns their absence.

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On November 2, EHC hosted the annual National City “Calaveritas” event at Paradise Creek Educational Park in the Old Town neighborhood of National City. “Calaveritas” translates to "little skulls." Kids and families decorated these sugar skulls, which are deeply rooted in Mexican tradition.

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We created alters with photos, flowers and decorations dedicated to our loved ones who have passed away. Hundreds of homemade sugar skulls and decorative frosting were provided thanks to community organizer Monserrat Hernandez and community leaders Alicia Sanchez and Maria C. Villanueva.

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While Port District plans a massive expansion of its operations and diesel emissions from the Tenth Avenue Terminal, the neighboring community of Barrio Logan has been ranked even higher in the newest draft of California’s environmental justice screening model, CalEnviroScreen.

The new draft version three of CalEnviroScreen, released September 6, confirms the pollution hazards and social vulnerabilities in the Barrio Logan/Logan Heights area.

Barrio Logan was already at the very top of the state in version two of CalEnviroScreen – the highest five percent of all 8,000-plus census tracts in the state. The newly released draft version shows diesel hazards a full 15 percentile points higher than previously estimated for this area. Heart attack risk – a new indicator in version three – is also high, given the relatively young age profile of the community. Asthma continues to be a prominent indicator of disadvantage in the community – Barrio Logan and Logan Heights rank even higher on the asthma indicator this time around. This version of CalEnviroScreen also includes unemployment data for Barrio Logan – which the previous version lacked for this area. Unsurprisingly, it’s high.

Another new indicator measures cost of living based on the “rent-adjusted income” – or, the average income households have left after paying rent. Areas with high housing costs and low incomes rank high on this indicator. Barrio Logan is at the 97th percentile – an alarming result that will not surprise anyone struggling with rising rents in the area.

This small community, the historic heart of Chicano art and life in San Diego, is under siege from pollution, high health burdens, high rents and high unemployment. The community needs clean air, affordable housing and good jobs. Barrio Logan children need to be able to play outside. Instead, they may be subjected to a 500 percent increase in emissions and truck traffic from Port operations at the terminal.

Another draft document just out – the Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for the redevelopment of the Tenth Avenue Marine Terminal – indicates the community will not be getting a break anytime soon.

The draft EIR evaluates the impacts of a 500 percent increase in cargo volume coming through the terminal. All this cargo would mean more ships coming, more cranes and forklifts moving cargo, more trucks, more night-time light, more noise, as many as 800 more truck trips a day and a cancer risk estimate of 197 per million – about 20 times more than the level normally considered “significant.” All the extra diesel fuel burning would also generate a huge increase in planet-harming greenhouse gas emissions – a 540 percent increase – not even counting all the emissions generated from ships crossing the ocean to get here.

EHC will be working with community residents and the Port of San Diego to get a better outcome for Barrio Logan. We believe that, at a minimum, the Port must ensure that no net increase in pollution will occur from the redevelopment. Jobs generated from the project must be high quality, and every effort must be made to hire workers from the community. And greenhouse gas emissions must be offset by corresponding decreases on Port property or in the community. Stay tuned for action alerts as the issue moves forward.

Join us on December 13 at 1 p.m. at 3165 Pacific Hwy. to demand the Port be a good neighbor to our communities.

Click here to sign our petition to tell the Port of San Diego to take its plan back to the drawing board.

Joy Williams

Joy Williams
Research Director
Environmental Health Coalition




Last month, community members joined us for a walking tour through Old Town National City. Together, we saw firsthand the problems our neighborhood faces and celebrated the progress we're making to find solutions.

We visited the construction site of affordable Paradise Creek apartments near a transit stop and a beautiful park. We walked the improved route to Kimball Elementary School, which has new safety features and no longer neighbors polluting industries across the street.

9 Discussion of New Stop Signs and Extended Side Walks

13 Group Photo in Front of Kimball Elementary

16 Discussion of New Street Light Posts and Speed Bumps

23 Remediated State of Safe and Clean Paradise Creek

19 Paradise Creek Walking Path Construction

30 Group Photo in Amphitheater

18 Paradise Creek Observation

5 Discussion of Paradise Creek Affordable Housing Apartments

Thank you for joining us to make National City a beautiful, safe and healthy place we're proud to call our home.

Click here to see more photos of the inspiring community tour.

Recently, The Port of San Diego announced its plans to significantly expand the Tenth Avenue Marine Terminal, located less than half a mile from Perkins Elementary School and residential neighborhoods in Barrio Logan. If approved, the project would bring hundreds of polluting trucks and ships to our communities every day, making our air increasingly hard to breathe and catalyzing the toxic pollution our communities already struggle with.

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By expanding the Tenth Avenue Marine Terminal without a plan to address the social and environmental impacts it will cause, the Port’s current plan would:

  • Bring 800 more diesel trucks through our neighborhoods – per day. Added to existing and projected traffic, there may be over 30,000 truck trips per year through Barrio Logan.
  • Increase toxic air pollution by 600 percent. A steady flow of diesel trucks through our neighborhoods is a disastrous hazard to our health.
  • Catalyze climate change. A 540 percent increase in greenhouse gas pollution will virtually erase our progress in the fight against climate change.
  • Disturb our neighborhoods with excessive noise. We don’t deserve hundreds of noisy trucks passing by our homes, schools and workplaces.
  • Worsen traffic and parking problems. Barrio Logan needs better transit and safer streets, not more congestion.

You can use your voice to stop the Port from bringing more toxic pollution to Barrio Logan and developing the Tenth Ave. Marine Terminal in an irresponsible way that harms our communities.

Take action in three steps to tell the Port that we deserve better.