DHEC defers on Savannah River dredging appeal

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — The board that runs South Carolina’s environmental agency has decided not to reconsider its permit allowing deeper dredging in the Savannah River, setting up a courtroom showdown next week in the fight over helping bigger ships reach the port in Savannah, Ga.

The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control board decided Thursday to wait for the Supreme Court to rule on a lawsuit by environmentalists. The justices will hear arguments Tuesday.

The environmental groups asked the DHEC board to reconsider a permit allowing for a $600 million project to dig a 47-foot deep channel to the Georgia port. The groups say the channel should be two feet shallower to protect water quality. They also say DHEC did not have the authority to approve the permit.

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