Breaking News

Third public hearing set for Charleston cruise terminal.

The public will get another chance to weigh in on a new cruise ship terminal being proposed for the Charleston peninsula.

Read more and get information on time and location of DHEC hearing.

“Our seafood scene — will it continue to thrive?” by Peg Moore in Charleston Mercury: “Owners and chefs of our most important downtown restaurants have spoken to us and written to us…(and P&C)…, urging that cruise ships be regulated and located outside of the fragile historic district.”

Will our seafood continue to thrive?

Along with the price of fuel and competition from cheap, possibly polluted imports, our seafood economy also faces the threat — perceived and real — of water pollution.

Dana Beach of the Coastal Conservation League notes, “At a time of unprecedented interest in local foods, and especially those that reflect the history and character of the region, it is particularly important that we protect the habitats of local crabs, shrimp and oysters from known threats like the discharge of sewage and ballast water from cruise ships.”

Owners and chefs of our most important downtown restaurants have spoken to us and written to us as well as the Post and Courier, urging that cruise ships be regulated and located outside of the fragile historic district.

Why is Charleston not savvy enough to manage the concerns with regulating cruise ships? Many citizens are concerned due to the perception and reality of pollution and the potential spills. Other communities have regulations — Maine passed them to protect their lobster industry. Here in Charleston, the ambience of our historic district and the economy are at stake. The National Trust and the World Monuments Fund have both placed Charleston on a watch list. An international conference here in the fall will focus on cruise ship problems.

Read entire article here.

“Corps wants terminal lawsuit heard here”- in today’s P&C, The State and The Sacrameto Bee

By BRUCE SMITH – The Associated Press

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has asked that a federal lawsuit over South Carolina’s planned $35 million cruise terminal be heard in Charleston, not Washington, D.C.
Read more here.

Breaking AP report: Cruise terminal permit delayed as state seeks additional information from ports- “Any delay is the fault of the State Ports Authority, which has, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, refused to recognize that cruise operations impact local citizens’ health and the integrity of Charleston’s economically vital historic area,” (Blan Holman, attorney representing the Southern Environmental Law Center said).

…The terminal is also a focus of suits in both state and federal court. Preservation groups, environmentalists and neighborhood residents sued in state court saying the cruises are a public nuisance causing congestion and pollution. A state judge, acting as a special referee for the South Carolina Supreme Court, heard arguments earlier this month on whether to dismiss that case. He has not issued his findings.

Also this month, environmental and preservation groups sued in federal court in Washington. That suit contends the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers unlawfully issued a permit allowing the State Ports Authority to classify the work as a maintenance project.

Blan Holman, an attorney representing the Southern Environmental Law Center who argued for the plaintiffs in the state lawsuit, said the request for more information shows that DHEC is doing its job.
Read entire article. 

“Cruise industry fights new pollution limits”- breaking news reported by Juliet Eilperin: “Everyday… the (Sapphire Princess)…will emit…as much soot as 1.06 million cars.”

Cruise industry fights new pollution limits
By Juliet Eilperin / The Washington Post

WHITTIER, Alaska — The gleaming white Sapphire Princess docked in this  deepwater port this month, unloading its passengers and taking on 2,600 more  guests headed first to Glacier Bay and eventually to Vancouver, British  Columbia. Every day of that trip, the cruise ship — whose website invites passengers to see Alaska’s “pristine landscapes” — will emit the same amount of  sulfur dioxide as 13.1 million cars, according to the Environmental Protection  Agency, and as much soot as 1.06 million cars.

“Banners fly against ship soot”- a P&C article

Banners fly against ship soot, P&C, July 3, 2012, ROBERT BEHRE and BRENDA RINDGE.

 

“Impact of cruise ships on Charleston historic district focus of new lawsuit”- today’s P&C front page article

Grace Beahm/staff“It used to be once a week, on Friday mornings, I’d polish the door brass and sweep the piazza. Now it’s three times a week,” said Ansonborough resident Karen Prewitt, holding a blackened paper towel she ran over the surfaces of her front porch. She blames soot from cruise ships that idle only blocks away.

Impact of cruise ships on Charleston historic district focus of new lawsuit, P&C, July 3, 2012, ROBERT BEHRE.

Reach Robert Behre at 937-5771.

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