South Carolina Environmental Law Project

Lawyers for the Wild Side of South Carolina

Groups file appeal to halt permit for Charleston cruise terminal
January 4th, 2013

A group of neighborhood associations, preservationists and environmentalists are asking state environmental regulators to review a recent approval for a new cruise terminal in downtown Charleston.

The S.C. Environmental Law Project filed an appeal Wednesday with the S.C Department of Health and Environmental Control, asking the agency’s board to review its staff’s approval.

The group filed the notice on behalf of Preservation Society of Charleston, Communities for Cruise Control, Historic Ansonborough Neighborhood Association, Coastal Conservation League, Charlestowne Neighborhood Association, Anson House Condominium Owners Association, and the Charleston chapter of the Surfrider Foundation.

Neighborhood associations and the other groups have opposed the new terminal site and have called for limits on cruise operations. Lawsuits have been filed, including one pending before the state Supreme Court.

Wednesday’s request for a review of the permit said, “The new cruise terminal authorized by the DHEC decision would enable cruise ship home-basing operations to continue and indeed expand both in number and size of ships.”

Late last month, DHEC staff gave the State Ports Authority the final permit needed for the terminal. The terms included a voluntary agreement between the SPA and city of Charleston that limits like the size of cruise ships and the number of annual cruise stops.

The SPA wants to relocate its cruise passenger building to an existing vacant warehouse at the north end of Union Pier, near Laurens Street. The current structure is farther south, near the end of Market Street.

The public had 15 days to appeal the DHEC staff decision.

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