The lawsuit problems that Los Angeles faces over the Gambol shipyard seem to be of the straw man variety.
Engineering and legal specialists agree that the port is justified in refusing to be deterred from dumping contaminated soil from the main channel in the two slipways that Gambol reckons could be used for shipbuilding. As port boss Geraldine Knatz sets out so carefully, no new case has been put forward for changing the type of shield that is being used for the site. Even if the port did yield to Gambol's pleas, the dreary process of getting the new permits would take a hideously long time.
As for the possibility of using next-door Long Beach for the silt, that was discounted at least a year ago. Long Beach has said more than once that the preference is for taking soil from places that have nowhere else to go, such as Newport Beach. Allegations that Los Angeles has self-servingly forgotten to ask its neighbor just do not wash.
In some ways the port is facing down Gambol out of sheer exasperation. Officials know that the public good is being harmed by all the pointless wrangling and are going ahead with gritted teeth. They would probably have been more willing early on to consider a change to the plan if some definite indication had been given of likely customers for the proposed yard.
Evidence of this still has to surface. A telling sign that it is unlikely is shown by the absence of letters or even statements of support from shipping lines -- Jones Act (such as Horizon and Matson) or international -- or multi-purpose maritime operators such as Crowley or Foss. Unless the maritime information sector has been asleep on the bridge, some sort of support would have been unearthed.
Perhaps Gambol is planning an unpleasant legal move. This would be a replay of the Clean Truck saga, with cunning last-minute applications to different courts. However, observers note that there is, thankfully, a big difference in this case – the absence of trade union vested interests that care nothing for the public good and are out to grab power.