U.S. District Judge Richard Gergel ruled on Tuesday August 14 that the Georgia Ports Authority and South Carolina’s Savannah River Maritime Commission may be included in a lawsuit challenging the Savannah Harbor Expansion Project (SHEP). However, Judge Gergel denied a motion to expand the lawsuit to rule on what South Carolina environmental laws pertain to the project which limits the issue to whether the SHEP requires a South Carolina pollution permit. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers were originally sued by a group of South Carolina and Georgia environmental groups that challenged that the Corps needed a permit as the project will allegedly cause toxic cadmium from river silt to be dumped in South Carolina’s portion of the Savannah River.
The Georgia Ports Authority will enter the lawsuit on the side of the Corps while the Maritime Commission will enter on the side of the Southern Environmental Law Center which will be representing the Savannah Riverkeeper, the South Carolina Coastal Conservation League and the South Carolina Wildlife Federartion.
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