Both sides in a lawsuit over dredging the Savannah River are set to sit down next week and try to resolve their issues. A federal judge this week ordered that all parties meet with court-appointed mediator former U.S. Rep. John Spratt on Oct. 25 and 26 at the federal courthouse in Charleston.
It's time for the executive in charge of Georgia's seaports to give his annual update on the shipping business in Savannah. Curtis Foltz, executive director of the Georgia Ports Authority, was scheduled to deliver his State of the Port speech Thursday.
Another South Carolina agency wants to enter the federal lawsuit challenging the $650 million dredging of the Savannah River shipping channel. The state Department of Health and Environmental Control says it should be allowed to participate because it would have to issue a Pollution Control Act permit for the dredging if the court requires one.
Conservation groups in two states say the Army Corps of Engineers needs a South Carolina pollution permit now, not later, for the $650 million deepening of the Savannah River shipping channel. Attorneys late Tuesday filed a response to a corps request that a federal judge dismiss their lawsuit against the project.
The South Carolina Supreme Court is set to decide who gets to regulate the Savannah River. The justices will hear arguments Tuesday in a lawsuit filed by environmentalists that say the Savannah River Maritime Commission created by South Carolina lawmakers oversees that state's side of the river.
The board that runs South Carolina's environmental agency has decided not to reconsider its permit allowing deeper dredging in the Savannah River, setting up a courtroom showdown next week in the fight over helping bigger ships reach the port in Savannah, Ga.
Endangered fish could swim farther up the Savannah River once the Savannah harbor deepening project gets started. US Army Corps of Engineers officials are proposing a $32 million "fishway" around an Augusta dam as part of the massive port expansion proposal. But aren't convinced the endangered shortnosed sturgeon would benefit from it.
About 350,000 Georgia workers owe their jobs in some way to the Georgia ports. A report released by the University of Georgia says, 1-in-12 Georgia jobs is port-dependent. Critics say, the figures are inflated, counting every Wal-Mart greeter and store clerk as port-dependent since they work at a company that uses the ports.
Governor Nathan Deal visited three cities Tuesday in a statewide tour to sign local bills and talk about the budget. At Augusta's Georgia Health Sciences University, Deal highlighted funding for 400 new residency slots at hospitals statewide. At the Georgia Ports Authority in Savannah, he focused on $47 million in the state budget for Savannah harbor expansion.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers wants a federal judge to toss a lawsuit that says a $650 million deepening of the Savannah River shipping channel needs a South Carolina pollution permit. The Georgia ports want the channel deepened to handle larger ships that will call when the Panama Canal is deepened. Conservation groups on both sides of the river have sued.