U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham says he has freed up funding access for the state’s ports in a Senate bill. Sen. Graham says a new provision placed in the Senate Energy & Water Appropriations bill could enable next year’s funding of the Charleston Harbor Post-45 Deepening effort.
Graham is a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee and worked to include the language which passed through committee. Under the provision is:
– Funding for ongoing Army Corps of Engineer projects not included in the president’s budget plans. The corps will be eligible to apply for and receive up to $10.5 million for ongoing harbor studies.
– The South Carolina State Ports Authority, along with other ports from across the country, will be eligible apply for funding for their project.
– The Army Corps of Engineers will decide which ports get funding and how much each port gets.
Graham says, “It does not solve all our future funding issues, but it will allow us to keep making progress over the next year.”
“Under the old system, we would have been shut out because we were not included in the President’s budget,” said Graham. “Now, Charleston will have the opportunity to apply for and receive funding from this account to continue our deepening study. Without the study, we can’t design and begin actual construction on a deeper harbor.
Graham also thanked Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-California) and Lamar Alexander (R-Tennessee) for helping push his plans forward.
The Georgetown port will also be eligible to apply for and receive funding for their dredging needs. because the committee included $30 million for harbor maintenance funding and $15 million for Inland Channel Navigation Maintenance.
The Army Corps of Engineers Charleston Harbor study which began in June may cost as much as to $20 million and take up to five years to complete. The federal government will supply half of the funding and the other half will come from the South Carolina State Ports Authority.