NORTH CHARLESTON – State regulators have scheduled a public hearing on one of the more heated issues in Charleston - the year-round cruise industry.

The state’s Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management is set to hold a hearing in North Charleston on Wednesday on permits to allow the State Ports Authority to build a $35 million cruise terminal on the Cooper River waterfront.

While the hearing has to do with pilings to support escalators and elevators at the site of the terminal in an old warehouse, the larger issue of the cruise industry is likely to be discussed.

Area residents, environmental and preservation groups have sued Carnival Cruise Lines on various grounds. The state Supreme Court has agreed to hear the case without it first winding through lower courts.