Senate committee approves $3.5M for Charleston Harbor deepening

Staff Report
Published April 30, 2012

The Senate Appropriations Committee tagged $3.5 million for the Charleston Harbor deepening study, Sen. Lindsey Graham announced Thursday.

The committee included the funds in its Fiscal Year 2013 Energy and Water Appropriations Act, which passed an Appropriations Committee vote. The $3.5 million is the largest federal contribution to the project.

“This is the most significant federal contribution made thus far to the Charleston Harbor deepening effort,” Graham said in a news release. “The Port of Charleston is our economic gateway to the world and that’s why I have long believed that when it comes to deepening Charleston Harbor, failure is simply not an option.”

The funds also match the amount President Barack Obama included in his budget for the deepening project.

Locally, state senators passed a bond bill last week to provide $120 million for the project in case the funds are needed. The amount matches the federal government’s share for the deepening project, and ports officials have said the state money could be used and then refunded by the federal government.

State lawmakers have also set aside $180 million to pay for the state’s share of the project. The deepening study is expected to take between five to eight years.

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