The Port of Long Beach is a major component of the city and region. Up to 1997, a large part of that industry consisted of the Naval Shipyard. Yes, most of us think the navy vanished after that time. However, through the years the shipyard area accomplished several special projects in addition to its original primary mission. These included support for, or scientific projects in conjunction with, programs like POLARIS, POSEIDON, and SEALAB.
By 2004, 72% of the land had been turned over to the City of Long Beach by the military.
In 1997, COSCO (The China Ocean Shipping Company) wanted to lease the space from the City, including offering to build a $400 million cargo terminal. After review by the DoD and CIA, the lease went through, at an agreed-upon payment of $14.5 million per year from the Chinese, with renewal scheduled after ten years. However, continued controversy and opposition caused cancellation of the lease, and the new cargo terminal, which was in fact built by the Long Beach Harbor Department (Port of Long Beach), was leased to Hanjin Shipping, a South Korean firm. Hanjin was the majority partner in Total Terminals International (TTI), which was the primary tenant at Pier T until the total financial collapse of Hanjin in August 2016. Hanjin entered talks to sell its stake in the Long Beach Terminal to its minority partner in TTI, Mediterranean Shipping Company in October 2016.
What does all that mean? It means that anytime from 1997 until 2004 and even later, there were numerous changes in the Port involving destruction and construction of various sites. Any and/or all of those sites very possibly had large amounts of asbestos fiber in the buildings and even laced into the soil after demolition. It may also have been spread airborne during subsequent construction.
Were you exposed? Do you live in the area, downwind of the Port? Did you work in any capacity at the shipyard or the surrounding port entities during the years 1997 to 2004 and even later?
Most of us don’t think of the incidentals, the slight dust carried on the wind that settles on our cars or gets breathed in during the day. However, in later years, those particles could be life threatening. Are you willing to ignore it…and the possible consequences?
Chronicle your time spent and locations worked at the port and talk with us.
It is for your own safety and good that we ask.