Environmental regulators for South Carolina have denied a permit sought by the Army Corps of Engineers to deepen the river channel to Savannah's booming seaport in Georgia.
The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control said in documents filed late Friday afternoon that the plan to dredge six feet of mud and sand from the bottom of the Savannah River would cause unacceptable harm to its water quality. The river forms a shared border between South Carolina and Georgia.
The Georgia Ports Authority says it needs to deepen the river to give supersize cargo ships access to the Savannah port, the fourth busiest container port in the United States.
The Army Corps has until mid-October to appeal the permit denial to South Carolina officials.