Padilla Announces Nearly $75 Million for California Ports

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, U.S. Senator Alex Padilla (D-Calif.) announced $74.5 million in grant funding from the Department of Transportation Maritime Administration to decarbonize, upgrade, and rehabilitate key ports along California’s coast. The grants come as a part of the FY 2023 Port Infrastructure Development Program (PIDP) and are made possible by the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.

California’s ports play an important role in the nation’s economy, moving hundreds of billions of dollars’ worth of trade annually. These ports process about 40 percent of all containerized imports and 30 percent of all exports in the United States. Today’s announcement includes funding for cleaner, energy efficient ports to stimulate a greener economy with less pollution, as well as bolster port infrastructure to support future offshore wind investments.

“The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law continues to deliver for Californians by funding key projects across the state to strengthen our ports,” said Senator Padilla. “This funding will boost clean shipping efforts, rehabilitate degraded port infrastructure, and streamline daily operations up and down the California coast, making our ports more efficient for workers and safer for neighboring communities.”

“I’d like to thank our federal partners for this strategic investment in expanding our on-dock rail capabilities, which will strengthen our position as the Port of Choice and alleviate truck traffic on local roads,” said Port of Long Beach CEO Mario Cordero. “This grant is a testament to the hard work and dedication of our Port teammates and their continued contributions to successfully making us a leading gateway for trans-Pacific trade.”

“We are immensely grateful to the U.S. Department of Transportation for their award of these much-needed funds to the Port of San Diego,” said Chairman Rafael Castellanos, Port of San Diego Board of Port Commissioners. “This funding ensures that we remain the San Diego region’s gateway to the world and a leader in the clean, sustainable, safe, and efficient movement of international and domestic maritime cargo. We thank Senator Padilla along with the many other stakeholders and members of our congressional delegation for their support of our efforts. Their commitment to sustainability, public health, health equity, and the environment is critical and will help us meet our ambitious clean air goals and keep our promises to our communities.”

 “I am thrilled to see our coastal communities throughout California working together to support offshore wind development,” said Humboldt Bay Harbor District Board Vice President Stephen Kullmann. “Not only are we taking meaningful steps to address the climate crisis, but we are also striving to achieve the highest standard of responsible development while bringing real benefits to our local communities.” 

“As the nation’s sixth largest port specializing in the logistics of automobiles, this PIDP funding award to start the engineering plan to build a green parking structure on Port is a welcome start for us to maximize the use of critical space to better serve the Port’s customers and US consumer demand,” said Kristin Decas, CEO & Port Director, for the Port of Hueneme. “With 23% of our automotive throughput being electric vehicles, we are excited to build capacity to best serve the rapidly emerging zero emission vehicle market.”

Projects awarded by the Department of Transportation include:

  • City of Long Beach, Port of Long Beach: $52.6 million. This grant will enhance bridge rail capacity and improve the North Harbor and Pico Avenue Roadways.
  • San Diego Unified Port District: $11.25 million. This grant will upgrade the infrastructure of two berths at National City Marine Terminal (NCMT), allowing ocean-going vessels to connect to grid-based electricity while alongside the terminal berth.
  • Humboldt Bay Harbor Recreation and Conservation District: $8.6 million. This grant will go toward the acquisition of new equipment. It will also fund studies, site design, and permitting activities for a heavy-lift offshore wind terminal at the Redwood Marine Terminal and will improve service between the SeaTac terminal in Seattle and the Port of Anchorage.
  • Oxnard Harbor District: $2 million. This grant is for the planning activities related to a parking structure that will serve as the transfer point between ocean-going vessels and the rail or trucks being used to transport automobiles off port.

Last month, Senator Padilla urged the Environmental Protection Agency authorize the California Air Resources Board’s request for its Ocean-going Vessels At-Berth Regulation to reduce pollution originating from shipping and ports. Earlier this year, he introduced the Clean Shipping Act of 2023 which seeks to reduce shipping emissions that impact air quality and public health for near-port communities. Last year, Padilla and the late Senator Feinstein applauded the $94 million in port infrastructure grant funding that came from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.

More information about the PIDP is available here.