Mediation set in Charleston cruise case

Published on NewsOK Modified: December 2, 2013 at 12:12 pm •  Published: December 2, 2013

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — A mediation session is set for next month in a federal lawsuit opposing a passenger cruise terminal in Charleston, one of three challenges to the proposed $35 million project.

Court records show a mediator for the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond plans to meet with attorneys on Jan. 7. Both the South Carolina State Ports Authority and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers are appealing a decision by a federal judge tossing out a Corps' permit for the project.

U.S. District Judge Richard Gergel, in a lawsuit brought by environmental, preservation and neighborhood groups, ruled in September that the Corps did not adequately review the project's effects on the city's historic district.

The lawsuit challenged a permit allowing additional pilings beneath a waterfront warehouse so the structure may be renovated for the terminal. Gergel ruled the impact of the terminal effects on the city should be considered, not simply the environmental impact of adding the pilings in the water.

A second legal challenge is in the state Administrative Law Court.

Terminal opponents say since the federal permit has been tossed out, a state Department of Health and Environmental Control permit allowing the pilings and a certification that the project complies with state coastal rules must also be invalidated.

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