A permit the State Ports Authority needs to build its new cruise ship terminal in downtown Charleston will be the focus of a public hearing Wednesday.

The Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management will start the forum at 6 p.m. in Sterett Hall, 1530 7th St. on the former Navy base in North Charleston.

The SPA filed for a permit last month to drive five pilings in a so-called critical area of the waterfront where development is regulated. The pilings will support mandated elevator and escalator systems. The permit application drew more than 30 requests for a hearing.

The $35 million terminal is proposed for the north end of Union Pier, where the SPA plans to renovate an existing warehouse. Supporters and detractors of the project plan to attend the hearing.

OCRM said oral comments will be heard, but it asked that any important facts and statements be submitted in writing to S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control’s Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management, 1362 McMillan Ave., Suite 400, North Charleston, S.C. 29405. Attention: Steven Brooks.