Ports Authority appeals federal judge’s decision on cruise terminal

The State Ports Authority is seeking to build a $35 million new cruise terminal at a former warehouse building on Union Pier in downtown Charleston.

The S.C. State Ports Authority is seeking to appeal a federal judge’s recent decision that forces the Army Corps of Engineers to further review the agency’s proposed $35 million cruise terminal in downtown Charleston.

Lawyers for the state’s maritime agency filed a notice late Thursday that they are appealing to the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Va.

In September, U.S. District Court Judge Richard Gergel ordered the Army Corps to redo the study that gave a permit for SPA to build the new cruise terminal at Union Pier. Gergel ordered the Army Corps to go back and review the project more thoroughly.

“By filing the notice of appeal to the fourth circuit court of appeals, the Ports Authority is proceeding with the process provided by law for a new review of the Corps’ authorization for the additional pilings at its marine terminal,” SPA spokeswoman Erin Pabst said in a written statement.

The Coastal Conservation League and the Preservation Society of Charleston filed the case after the Army Corps issued a permit allowing five pilings to be driven on the waterfront.

The pilings are needed to help transform an existing warehouse into the new passenger building.

The opposition groups have said the agency didn’t take into account the impact on historic properties.

The SPA, which has 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 federal case is one of three lawsuits opposing extended cruise operations in downtown Charleston.

Reach Tyrone Richardson at 843-937-5550 and follow him on Twitter @tyrichardsonPC.