I want to update you on the status of the BNSF BIG (Barstow International Gateway) project. This railyard project is the first of its kind and is receiving worldwide attention. We here at City Hall know that we have to get this right! There are always challenges for any large project but the biggest threat to date has been the CARB’s proposed “In-Use Locomotive Regulation” which would require zero-emissions (such as electric) locomotives. It would be impossible for BNSF to comply because this technology does not yet exist.

I want to personally thank all of you who took the time to contact elected officials and CARB to oppose this action. We have heard that CARB’s phones have been blowing up with this issue and that comments have been pouring in opposing this action. The Barstow City Council also let it be known that they strongly opposing CARB’s proposed action by unanimously passing a resolution in opposition. In order to keep the pressure on CARB, last week I traveled to Sacramento with the Assistant City Manager and the City Building Official for two days to personally spend time at the State Capitol meeting with numerous legislators. The response was overwhelmingly positive, and we gained a number of allies for our fight. I want you to know that this battle with CARB is not completely over but we are gaining ground.
On another note, the BIG project is subject to the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). As part of this process, on March 13th, a CEQA scoping session was held at the Cora Harper Center to receive input on the project. Know that every one of the comments received is currently being reviewed and will be included in the report.
The City is moving full speed ahead with this project. If you would like to learn more about how this facility will operate, the project layout, as well as the planning and environmental process required to finalize the project, please click here