SC House approves bill to undo dredging permit

COLUMBIA, SC (AP) - The South Carolina House has approved legislation that would supersede the state environmental agency's authority on dredging decisions, in an effort to help undo a permit it awarded allowing Georgia to expand the Savannah port.

The House voted 111-0 Wednesday to declare the Department of Health and Environmental Control's ability to make dredging decisions suspended as of 2007. That's when legislators created the Savannah River Maritime Commission and gave it authority to represent South Carolina on navigability issues in the river shared with Georgia.

But it wasn't consulted before DHEC awarded the permit in November, two months after denying it due to environmental concerns. Gov. Nikki Haley has been under fire for asking her DHEC board to hear the appeal.

Legislators say it was a horrible economic and environmental decision.

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