The South Carolina House voted 111-1 today to override Gov. Nikki Haley's Monday veto of a measure aimed at rebuking the actions of Haley's appointed Department of Health and Environmental Resources board.
The board controversially approved a clean water permit needed by Georgia to deepen the Savannah River, to accommodate larger container ships at the Port of Savannah. Opponents say that project would harm the environment and the competitiveness of South Carolina's Port of Charleston.
The House vote to override returns the measure to the Senate, which had approved the joint resolution Haley later vetoed by a vote of 37-0. A two-thirds majority is needed to overturn the governor's veto.
Legislative leaders say the measure, if it becomes law, would show that DHEC violated an existing state law by approving the Savannah River permit without the approval of the South Carolina's Savannah River Maritime Commission. The governor's office has disagreed about the state commission's authority, and Haley said Monday that the resolution she vetoed was both an unconstitutional over-reach, and a measure with not practical effect.
The DHEC permit and the question of the commission's authority are also the subject of two pending legal challenges.