It looks as if finding federal money to keep the deepening of Charleston’s Harbor on track won’t be as difficult this year.

U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said Thursday the Senate Appropriations Committee has approved $3.5 million to continue the study for deepening the harbor — the largest federal contribution to date.

“Deepening Charleston Harbor is the No. 1 issue for South Carolina’s economy,” Graham said. “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.”

Last year, the state’s congressional delegation had to scramble to secure dollars to keep the study on track because of members’ growing opposition to earmarks.

Read more in tomorrow’s Post and Courier.