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Posted 5/8/2013

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By Todd Plain
Sacramento District

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Since 1942, the Military Ocean Terminal Concord -- or MOTCO -- has been a vital ammunition distribution center in support of the deploying forces during the Korean, Vietnam and Gulf Wars.

But this facility in the eastern San Francisco Bay Area has not been able to efficiently carry out its mission for a long time, especially with only one of its three piers being partially operable the last five years.

That's why the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Sacramento District shared the plan to safely modernize the terminal and address environmental concerns during a public meeting held April 24, 2013, at nearby Concord High School.

"The environmental impact statement the Department of the Army has been developing with us covers three viable scenarios for pier modernization - all of which would allow MOTCO to meet its mission safely and efficiently," said Pete Broderick who is managing the project for the Corps.

The draft EIS will build off of information compiled by existing environmental programs to safely meet operational, facilities management, land use, and natural and cultural resources management objectives. Federal, state, tribal and local agencies, organizations, and the public were invited to the meeting to comment on the draft, and non-attendees can still submit comments until June 4.

"If these piers aren't modernized, we will lose function for MOTCO, which represents nearly 25 percent of the nation's total ammunition shipping capability," said Guy Romine, program manager for the Military Surface Deployment and Distribution Command, the agency operating the port.

Broderick and his team will use public input to determine the best approach to modernize the piers, and hope to outline that plan in the final EIS expected in fall 2014 with possible construction tentatively scheduled in 2016.

According to Broderick, the longer we wait, the worse the situation gets.

"With all the hands in the till, this will take a herculean effort to coordinate the completion of this EIS," said Broderick. "So far, we're meeting our challenges."

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