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Thursday, November 10, 2011 - 9:38am

Compromise Approved On Port Dredging

The board that oversees South Carolina's environmental agency has approved a compromise with the Army Corps of Engineers over a permit to dredge the Savannah River.

The agency's board voted unanimously Thursday to accept the agreement, allowing the federal government and state of Georgia to proceed with plans to deepen 35 miles between the Atlantic Ocean and the port of Savannah.

The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control staff denied the Corps' water permit request in September. Thursday’s agreement was reached minutes before an appeal before the board. It includes Georgia's promise to pay for upkeep on devices the Corps will install to inject oxygen into the river, and agreeing to preserve an additional 1,500 acres of marsh.

The board rejected the Southern Environmental Law Center's request that three environmental groups be allowed to intervene.