Monday the Southern Environmental Law Center filed suit against the development of a cruise terminal in Charleston. The center contends the Army Corps of Engineers did not do a public review of plans pertaining to the $35 million cruise terminal next to Charleston’s nationally protected historic landmark district downtown.
Lead attorney Blan Holman says the Preservation Society of Charleston and the Coastal Conservation League and the public should have been notified first.
Holman says the Corps of Engineers did not follow guidelines: “They issued a permit basically without telling anybody and the law requires a permit like this has got to go out so that the public can see what is proposed and we can evaluate ways to minimize impact on natural resources and historic resources that are so valuable in Charleston.”
The corps claims the terminal work is maintenance; the suit contends it is not.
“Maybe in the government’s mind something like that can be maintenance but in our view this is a new proposal. You know we’ve got federal law that protects all of these incredible, nationally recognized historic resources and landmarks in Charleston,” Holman says. “Federal law requires that when a federal agency such as the corps issues a permit, they have got to consult with experts on this kind of thing.”
Holman says what’s needed in this cruise terminal case is balance, something the city has been able to do in the past.
Yet, Charleston’s longtime Mayor Joe Riley supports the idea of a new terminal – calling it a natural fit for a port city.
Sheree Bernardi, WTMA in Charleston