The Southern Environment Law Center and the South Carolina Coastal Conservation League filed a motion to a federal judge requesting that the construction of the new terminal on the Port of Charleston be stopped, but the State Ports Authority is acting aggressively to prevent that from happening. The league and law center say the new terminal will bring in an overflow of traffic to the Charleston area. SPA spokesperson Byron Miller says traffic will never roll away, and the real focus should be the state’s economy.
“The real thing South Carolina ought to be considering is this 12.1 percent unemployment in June. It’s the nation’s fourth highest unemployment, and at a time when we need jobs here in South Carolina, and the Charleston area, we’re gonna try and figure out solutions instead of always trying to throw up road blocks,” says Miller.
But according to the league and law center, the real road block will be on Interstate-26 in Charleston after the new terminal is up and running. They say the new terminal will bring in nearly 10,000 more vehicles traveling on I-26. Miller says it was the SC Coastal Conservation League’s idea to put the new terminal in North Charleston, and they need to stick to their word. He says everything was previously discussed.
“Traffic was studied, along with air quality, environment and everything else in the permitting process. Nine state and federal agencies spent four years and $5 million studying the project and they all gave it their initial approval. They ought to stick with their solution and let’s try and work together as a community to figure out the answers to these challenges,” says Miller.
Miller says the project is already having a huge impact on Charleston.
“Right now we’re underway, the project is under construction. We’ve let tens of millions of dollars in contracts, and it’s a project that’s having a multimillion dollar impact on a local economy in a time that we could really use it,” says Miller.