Haley defends deal with Georgia on water quality

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Gov. Nikki Haley says South Carolina struck a deal on merits with Georgia on water quality permits tied to that state’s plans to expand port operations near Savannah.

Haley also told reporters on Monday that a fundraiser in Georgia last month had no connection to working with Georgia to speed South Carolina’s permitting process.

The state Department of Health and Environmental Control initially planned to reject Georgia’s Savannah River dredging permit.

Haley said she asked for a hearing from DHEC but she said she didn’t push for approval.

She said Georgia initially failed to meet state benchmarks but came through with long-term commitments that more than met state standards.

Legislators asked Haley to testify at a hearing Tuesday on the situation. Haley said she wouldn’t set a precedent by appearing.

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