HOUSTON-Hungry for more land for its proposed Bayport Terminal, the Port of Houston Authority is trying to buy 226 acres from a chemical company called American Acryl. There is just one problem. American Acryl says it doesn’t want to sell.

The Port wants the land to relocate the truck entrance of the proposed terminal. Nearby residents claim the original location is too dangerous for motorists. The entrance originally had been planned for the intersection of Toddville and Port Roads. Now, the Port wants to move the entrance to a “flyover” exit ramp from Texas 146, crossing over Old Highway 146.

New storm water runoff rules that are expected soon will mean the Port must build larger retention ponds. To have enough room for those ponds, the Port says it needs to buy land from American Acryl.

Port officials have confirmed to GlobeSt.com the agency is trying to get the land and is willing to use eminent domain if negotiations falter. American Acryl officials did not return phone calls asking to discuss the situation, but Port officials confirm that the chemical company is balking at selling its property.

The Port is a major economic force in Houston. It ranks No. 1 in the United States in foreign tonnage and second in total tonnage, handling 169 million tons of cargo last year. The Port generates more than 200,000 jobs and an estimated $7.7 billion to the Houston economy.

Because of growth in its business, Port officials say a Bayport Terminal is needed to accommodate its expanding needs. Further development at Barbours Cut Terminal is not possible due to a lack of available space. As an interim measure, the Port Authority recently has leased a terminal at the Port of Galveston. Still, Port officials say a new terminal is necessary.

The Bayport Terminal would be built along the Bayport Ship Channel, which is about 30 miles from Downtown Houston in southeast Harris County. The Bayport Ship Channel is linked to the Houston Ship Channel, which traverses Galveston Bay and provides access to the Gulf of Mexico.

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