The Georgia Ports Authority has joined a South Carolina state agency in agreeing to a settlement that would end pending lawsuits over the proposed $652 million deepening of the waterway to the Port of Savannah.
The deal would require extra environmental studies and mitigation by the Army Corps of Engineers. Georgia port officials would have to spend more than $25 million extra on conservation efforts.
Georgia's ports board voted to approve the settlement Wednesday, hours after the Savannah River Maritime Commission in South Carolina agreed to it. To take effect, the Army Corps and three environmental groups that filed suit in federal court also need to sign off on the deal.
Georgia wants to deepen more than 30 miles of the Savannah River to make room for larger cargo ships.