Three conservation groups are suing the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers over a $600 million project to deepen the Savannah River shipping channel.
The suit was filed Friday in state court in Jasper County on the South Carolina side of the river.
It alleges the project needs a South Carolina Pollution Control Act permit for putting the dredge spoils on land. It also says that some of the dredged material will be silt containing cadmium.
The suit was brought by the Savannah Riverkeeper, the South Carolina Coastal Conservation League and the South Carolina Wildlife Federation. Georgia officials want the channel deepened to handle larger ships that will be calling when the Panama Canal is widened in 2014.
The corps said it would have a statement on the lawsuit later Friday.