A proposed cement importing plant at the Port of Los Angeles has been given the green light by the Los Angeles Board of Harbor Commissioners, despite the objections of Wilmington residents who say the factory will bring too many trucks into their community.
The board, however, did make a concession in granting the approval last week: It required that the company adhere to a written truck route proposed by the residents. The commissioners also voted to create a task force to study truck traffic in Wilmington.
The residents said they were pleased with the conditions attached to the cement factory permit, but cautioned that the truck route will be useless unless police and the port enforce it.
Without enforcement, said Peter Mendoza, president of the Wilmington Home Owners, "the factories are going to go up and we're going to get nothing but a bunch of nice signs and a map."
Although the commissioners also voted to invite a representative from the Los Angeles Police Department to their next meeting to discuss the issue, the residents say police have too much else to do.
Residents would like port police to enforce the truck route, which directs trucks to use B and Alameda streets to get to the freeways. But port officials say their police have jurisdiction only within the bounds of the port.
Port Executive Director Ezunial Burts said the truckers who cause problems in Wilmington are those who drive there only occasionally, not the kind who will be making regular runs to and from the cement factory.
Although residents have said the factory will bring an additional 100 trucks a day into Wilmington, officials from Wilmington Liquid Bulk Terminals Inc., which proposed the cement importing factory, said it estimates only 50 more trucks a day. The company plans a 63,000-square-foot concrete warehouse that will be used to receive, store and distribute bulk cement products.
At the meeting, residents argued that the factory would only bring more trucks, more pollution and more blight into their already congested community.