On Monday, attorneys with the Southern Environmental Law Center filed a motion to amend their complaint in the Savannah Harbor Expansion Project lawsuit. The suit was first filed in February, which argues the corps didn’t get a S.C. pollution control permit for the project.
By Matt Tomsic
Published Aug. 8, 2012
Attorneys are asking to amend a federal lawsuit to include a request for a ruling that the Savannah Harbor Expansion Project is not exempt from South Carolina environmental review.
The Southern Environmental Law Center filed its motion Monday. The law center is representing the Savannah Riverkeeper, the Coastal Conservation League and the S.C. Wildlife Federation in its lawsuit against the Army Corps of Engineers Savannah District.
The Georgia Ports Authority has asked to intervene as a defendant, and the Savannah River Maritime Commission has asked to intervene as a plaintiff.
Attorneys filed the lawsuit in February, arguing the Army Corps of Engineers didn’t get a South Carolina pollution control permit for the harbor expansion project, which will deepen the Savannah River to 47 feet and allow better access to Georgia Ports Authority terminals.
On Monday, the Southern Environmental Law Center asked to amend the complaint to include a declaration from a federal judge that the harbor expansion, or SHEP, is not exempt from South Carolina environmental review.
The plaintiffs have been injured and continue to be injured by Army Corps officials who have said the harbor expansion project could proceed without approvals from South Carolina.
“Plaintiffs believe that a declaration by this court that the SHEP is not immune from South Carolina law is needed now to enable a fair appraisal of the project’s compliance with state standards … and that a fair appraisal — unclouded by the corps’ threats — would result in decisions that reduce the project’s severe environmental impacts and possibly avoid them entirely,” according to the motion.