The South Carolina State Ports Authority and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will no longer challenge a 2013 federal court ruling that stalled a planned $35 million cruise terminal project, according to documents filed Monday.
The agencies were sued by the Southern Environmental Law Center in July 2012, and a judge later ruled that the agencies did not adequately review the terminal’s potential affects to the Charleston historic district in September 2013.
Dropping the challenge comes as a federal mediator had planned to meet with attorneys from both sides about the appeal. The Charleston Regional Business Journal is reporting the matter will now go back to the Corps of Engineers for consideration.
The Corps’ permit had authorized the Ports Authority to build five additional pile clusters under a building at the Union Pier Terminal in preparation for the new cruise terminal. The pilings would be used to support three elevators and two escalators.
But neighbors and preservation groups blocked the move, concerned about the environmental impact of increased cruise traffic and tourists. The Southern Environmental Law Center filed the suit on behalf of several organizations.
Sheree Bernardi contributed to this report.