The Army Corps of Engineers is looking into how the agency should review proposed plans for a new cruise passenger terminal in downtown Charleston, an official said today.
The action comes a day after the Army Corps and the State Ports Authority dropped their appeal to a federal judge's decision overturning a permit for the $35 million cruise terminal at a former warehouse at Union Pier.
The two agencies were challenging a September ruling by U.S. District Judge Richard Gergel, who ruled that the Army Corps did not fully review the effects the project would have on the city's historic district, saying the permitting agency gave the study "a bum's rush." Gergel then ordered the Army Corps to redo the study with a more extensive review.
Army Corps spokesman Sean McBride released a statement today, saying the agency was reviewing how it should study the issue.
"Now that the decision not to appeal has been finalized, the Corps will further consider the appropriate scope, parameters and process for reviewing the cruise terminal construction on Union Pier consistent with the remand from the U.S. District Court, and communicate this information to the SPA to enable their decision of how and when to proceed as project proponent," according to the statement.
The Coastal Conservation League and the Preservation Society of Charleston filed the lawsuit after the Army Corps issued a permit allowing the five pilings to be driven on the waterfront.
The opposition groups have said the agency didn't take into account the impact on historic properties that surround the area.
The SPA, which joined the lawsuit as a defendant, has been seeking to relocate its cruise terminal to the north end of Union Pier from the south end for about three years.
The case is one of three legal challenges regarding expanded cruise operations in Charleston.