2,400 Construction Jobs at Risk in Oakland Coal Controversy

June 29, 2016




Saying that shipping coal through West Oakland, California is a health hazard, Mayor Libby Schaaf and Councilman Dan Kalb have proposed a city amendment banning the shipping, handling and storing of coal and petroleum coke in the city.

The project's city approval in 2012 allowed for any federally mandated bulk commodities to be shipped through the facility, including coal. Construction began in 2013 on the infrastructure and remediation work, with general contractors including Turner Construction. Work on new ground-up facilities that will transform 330 acres into two new terminals, 2 million square feet of warehouses and a recycling center is now in question.

The Oakland City Council voted unanimously Monday night to ban the handling and storage of coal and coke at any city terminal, and scheduled a second, procedural vote on the issue in July. The ban could create economic hurdles for the huge logistics center and warehouse project, which is expected to create thousands of construction jobs.

Unless an agreement is reached, the city could face a lawsuit from the developer, which could delay construction and stymie job creation. "The only way to do this is to do a negotiated settlement," said Andreas Cluver, secretary-treasurer of the Building & Construction Trades Council of Alameda County. "If we don't have a negotiated settlement, it will hurt everybody."

Stay tuned.

Source:  San Francisco Business Times