Keep an Eye on Charleston
August 16, 2010
The South Carolina State Ports Authority (SCSPA) and the South Carolina Coastal Conservation League (CCL) have successfully concluded several months of mediation and reached a settlement, ending a years-long battle and allowing Charleston’s new container terminal and port access road to proceed.
The port’s director of planning, Byron D. Miller, told LM in an interview that this represents a “second generation” of distribution services.
“Given our logistical reach to so many core regional industries, this is a significant step forward,” he said. Miller also noted that this is the first new terminal to be built on the U.S. East Coast.
The settlement agreement includes a number of commitments from both parties, setting a course for port expansion that continues in the most environmentally responsible manner.
Included in the agreement are specific actions to monitor and reduce air emissions from existing operations, as well as a commitment to accommodate and participate in a regional rail solution in the Charleston area. The port is also committing to reduce emissions by launching a voluntary truck replacement program to replace 85 percent of pre-1994 trucks calling on the port terminals by January 1, 2014.
The agreement resolves the CCL’s substantive challenges against the state and federal agencies’ permits for the new terminal and port access road. The new terminal project is the SCSPA’s top strategic priority, allowing it to handle long-term growth and attract new jobs and investment.
The CCL and the SCSPA agree that this settlement is a fair and reasonable resolution of the claims asserted by the CCL, and that the agreement is no admission of fault, wrongdoing, or liability. The actions in the agreement are being undertaken voluntarily by the SCSPA to address any and all claims.
According to ports spokesmen, the parties believe that this agreement and the forward-looking measures it contains “are in the best interest of the citizens, the economy, and the environment of South Carolina.”
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