Second hearing set for cruise terminal

A Carnival cruise ship underway.

A second environmental permit that the State Ports Authority needs to build its new cruise ship terminal in downtown Charleston will be the focus of another 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. at Hobson Avenue on the former Navy base in North Charleston.

The agency held its first public hearing on the cruise terminal last week. That meeting dealt with the SPA’s request to drive pilings in an area of the waterfront where development is regulated. About 200 people attended.

This week’s public hearing will focus on a water quality permit that would allow discharges from the operation of commercial vessels that are at least 79 feet long. OCRM said because of public interest, it was best to address the permit requests separately.

The $35 million terminal is proposed for the north end of Union Pier, where the SPA plans to renovate an existing warehouse. The project has stirred up opposition from groups seeking to impose limits on the cruise industry.

OCRM said oral comments about the SPA’s permit application 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, SC 29405, Attention: Steven Brooks.