COLUMBIA — The board overseeing South Carolina’s environmental agency has approved a compromise with the Army Corps of Engineers over a permit to dredge the Savannah River.

The agency’s board voted unanimously Thursday to accept the agreement, putting Georgia and the federal government a step closer to deepening 35 miles between the Atlantic Ocean and the port of Savannah, Ga.

DHEC staff denied the Corps’ water permit request in September. The agreement was reached minutes before an appeal before the board.

It includes Georgia’s promise to pay for upkeep on devices the Corps will install to inject oxygen into the river, and agreeing to preserve an additional 1,500 acres of marsh.

Patrick Moore with the Coastal Conservation League says his group will appeal the decision to the state’s Administrative Law Court.