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Saturday, October 1, 2011 - 5:41am

SC Denies Savannah Harbor Deepening Permit

Updated: 3 years ago.
The Figaro is the largest ship to call on Savannah. The post-Panamax vessel had to sail up the Savannah River on high tide because the harbor isn't deep enough yet for the largest vessels. (Photo Courtesy of Georgia Ports Authority.)

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.

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