Good news in Charleston cruise ship litigation

January 27, 2014 by Virgil McDill

We had some good news recently in our efforts to limit cruise ship traffic in Charleston.

As readers of this update are aware, a U.S. Federal Court ruling issued last year vindicated our claim that the Army Corps must consider the adverse effects of the cruise ship terminal on the adjacent historic district in Charleston. By insisting that the Army Corps take a broader look at nearby historic places before issuing permits, the ruling reinforced our long-standing conviction that the Corps must do a better job complying with federal preservation laws, which protect thousands of historic places across the country.

While the Army Corps and the South Carolina Ports Authority initially sought to appeal this ruling, the National Trust and our preservation allies were pleased that the Army Corps and the Ports Authority have recently dropped their appeal and announced that they will instead start the permit process over.

This is welcome news. As this recent editorial in the Charleston Post and Courier endorsing the decision to abandon the appeal in favor of re-starting the permit process notes, this approach will allow the Corps and the Ports Authority to “take the high road” by adopting “a process that allows the public to ask questions and have input into the SPA project.”

While we still have a ways to go in this effort, but we’re encouraged that re-starting the permit process and giving the public the ability to make their voices heard, is a step in the right direction.

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