CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Frustrations and opinions surrounding the Charleston cruise terminal were heard Tuesday night.
The $35 million passenger cruise terminal was first proposed for the Charleston waterfront almost six years ago.
The proposal would move the terminal about 1500 feet north, to an old warehouse, on the Cooper River.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has received more than 300 written comments on the permit. The information session and public hearing Tuesday evening will help the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers determine the larger impact the terminal would have on historic Charleston.
Then, they will decide to approve the permit, deny the permit, or approve the permit with special conditions.
Many came to voice their concerns with the proposal.
"It's one thing to have small vessels, but the bigger the ships, the more people that are on them, the more traffic you have," Blan Holman said, managing attorney with Southern Environmental Law Center.
"One that's compatible with the people who live downtown," Rusty Denman said.
"Our concerns about air and water pollution and our opinions about how to avoid minimize pollutants," Katie Zimmerman said, with Coastal Conservation League.
The Citadel's Holliday Alumni center was lined with the plans for the proposed cruise terminal.
They showed the area where additional pilings would be added beneath the warehouse.
"Right now, we're still gathering information from the community," Lieutenant Colonel Matthew Luzzatto said, with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. "We'll have to go back and analyze that data. It's really too soon for me to say when that will be."
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Coast Guard Officials, and DHEC were all there to answer questions and hear concerns.
Plus, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has received more than 300 written comments.
"There's a lot of concern involving traffic, air quality and historic preservation," Lt. Col. Luzzatto said.
The public hearing addressed those concerns.
Many talked about their issues with the cruise terminal's presence in downtown in the first place, hoping it will move to North Charleston.
Others presented ideas.
Installing shore power technology in both the terminal and on the home ported ship and that would do a great job of reducing nearly all the pollutants we are concerned about," Zimmerman said.
Some came and voiced their opposition. Others came to show their support.
Then, there were those who hoped to find some middle ground.
"Let's find the best place to do this and let's make sure we have limits in place, as needed, to preserve the balance," Holman said.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will now decide if an extensive environmental impact statement is needed.
The Corps will continue to make public comments submitted in writing through May 12.
You can submit your thoughts by writing to U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Regulatory Division, Attn: Nat Ball, 69-A Hagood Ave., Charleston, SC 29403.