Georgia Seeks To Ram “Savannah River Sellout” Down SC’s Throat

PEACH STATE WANTS FEDS TO IGNORE PENDING SC SUPREME COURT CASE The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is asking the federal government to disregard a pending South Carolina Supreme Court case over controversial port permits so that it can move forward with a massive taxpayer-funded expansion of the Port of…


The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is asking the federal government to disregard a pending South Carolina Supreme Court case over controversial port permits so that it can move forward with a massive taxpayer-funded expansion of the Port of Savannah.  Citing “inappropriate delays” stemming from the legal action, the Corps is asking the U.S. Congress to exempt it from having to receive South Carolina’s permission for the project – which will create lasting economic and environmental damage for our state.

In fact a letter to U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer says that the Corps will consider such an exemption to be in effect “if Congress authorizes this project or next appropriates funds for construction.”

Sounds like a fait accompli to us …

This government-funded project – which will dramatically weaken the Palmetto State’s competitive position – also effectively kills any chance that a deepwater port will be built with private funds in South Carolina.  In fact, toxic sludge from the Georgia project would be dumped on our private sector port site – rendering it useless for the next half century.

So is S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley up in arms over this?

Of course not … in fact Haley has been the State of Georgia’s biggest cheerleader.

Nikki Haley: Thumbs up (for Georgia).

Eager to raise money and secure a prominent speaking role at the 2012 Republican National Convention, Haley sold our state down the river via the infamous “Savannah River Sellout.”

After initially opposing Georgia’s expansion plans, Haley’s appointees to the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control (SCDHEC) flip-flopped last November and approved environmental permitting for the project – a decision that took place just days after Haley attended a fundraiser at an Atlanta law firm with extensive ties to the Georgia Ports Authority. Haley has repeatedly claimed that there were “no ties” to Georgia port interests at this fundraiser – although that claim has been thoroughly rebuffed.

Shortly after her 2010 election, Haley picked a high-profile fight with Georgia – sending a clear warning across the Savannah River regarding port-related issues.

“You now have a governor who does not like to lose,” Haley told a cheering crowd of S.C. State Ports Authority (SCSPA) supporters in Charleston. “Georgia has had their way with us for way too long, and I don’t have the patience to let it happen anymore.”

Of course Haley’s tune changed when Georgia’s money and a prime time national speaking gig were presented to her.

As we’ve noted on literally dozens of occasions, South Carolina continues to operate its port system under a 1950s-style “total state control” model – one that forbids private investment in public infrastructure. Meanwhile our competitors – like California and Virginia – have dramatically expanded their port infrastructure (and created thousands of new jobs) by leveraging private investment.

Our state’s leaders – including House Speaker Bobby Harrell and then-Senate President Glenn McConnell – were specifically warned in July 2006 that South Carolina’s restrictions against free market investment were “counterproductive” and would “discourage investment” in our facilities.

They failed to heed those warnings … and now our own governor has completely cut us off at the knees.


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upstate October 30, 2012 at 10:33 am

the part in all of this that I do not understand, why must the sludge be dumped on the proposed Jasper site. Is there a reason they can’t just haul it out to sea via barge, which is relatively common practice for other port projects.

? October 30, 2012 at 10:39 am

That’s an interesting question. I’d wager that it has something to do with cost, like most things…but it’s certainly a question I’d like to which I’d like to hear an educated answer.

Smirks October 30, 2012 at 10:55 am

The dredging spoils are said to be contaminated with cadmium deposits. I’m not sure if there are regulations regarding toxicity levels with dredging spoils being dumped offshore.

Georgia’s getting a heck of a deal on this. Their port is improved, they don’t have to deal with the effects of toxic sludge being dumped in their state, and the toxic sludge helps ensure there will not be a port in Jasper county for many decades to come.

Thomas October 30, 2012 at 12:44 pm

There are various treatment methods for removing cadmium from dredged soil. You do not dump raw dredging material on any proposed Jasper terminal.

The Charleston Port….just one problem, the soil turbidity of the Charleston Port water from the ill conceived damming of the rivers in the 1940’s will render the Charleston Port in a state of perpetual dredging to keep it deep enough. This is what any study will say and has said.

Our region needs a deep water port and Savannah is it—-get in front of it….

Stimulus October 30, 2012 at 10:38 am

She is a stupid ugly bitch!

Isotope Soap October 30, 2012 at 11:24 am

Glad you showed up, Stimulus!

dwb619 October 30, 2012 at 3:43 pm

Was it “hard” when Governor Deal rammed it down NIMRATA’s throat, or did she just open wide and swallow?

Silver Eagle October 30, 2012 at 11:36 am

Thank you Nikki Haley – this is all your fault.

Nunyabiz October 30, 2012 at 12:08 pm

Oh, and not to mention that the method that will be used to dredge the port has not even been tested in large bodies of water. Therefore, they don’t even know if it will WORK!! When this whole thing came out, I believe it was Sen. Chip Campsen (I could be mistaken) that had a 5-ring binder FULL of e-mails to and from the Maritime Commission and DHEC. FITS should obtain those e-mails and remind the public, once again, about how this whole corrupt mess with the Savannah Port began. The e-mails tell a completely different story than what’s coming out of Haley’s mouth. She literally sold out our state and those e-mails prove it.

Smirks October 30, 2012 at 12:53 pm

The method of keeping oxygen levels up in the river hasn’t been tested on the scale that it is being proposed for the Savannah River, either.

Sloppy Sikhs October 30, 2012 at 12:59 pm

She fucked us just like she did Will, Larry, Mike, Earl, Nate and God knows who else. And we didn’t even get to enjoy it!

Bill October 30, 2012 at 1:13 pm

A very accurate and correct assessment of Tricky Nicky Haley.
You only forgot to add the Tea Party to that statement as they are this Female Dog’s Pimp.

sam October 30, 2012 at 1:42 pm

The proposed Jasper Port site is now and has been for decades an existing spoil disposal site. Also, all dredge spoil contains heavy metals, including cadmium so although this sounds really good, it is happening now and has been for a long time. Also the entire South Carolina shoreline of the Savannah River up to and past the port is OWNED by the State of Georgia and has been since the 1950s.

You need to research your facts a little before roiling the water.

Waterfront commentator October 30, 2012 at 2:14 pm

“As we’ve noted on literally dozens of occasions, South Carolina continues to operate its port system under a 1950s-style “total state control” model – one that forbids private investment in public infrastructure.”

You’ve got it all wrong, Will.

The SCSPA did have a “public-private venture” — at the Veterans Terminal:

an unpublished, unadvertised 30-year “profit-split license agreement” with Charleston International Ports LLC, owned by two Charleston lawyers — Bill Schachte and Infrastructure Bank Board secretary Ric Tapp — and Friends of the Hunley Chairman Warren Lasch.

(Lasch is a federal criminal who pleaded guilty in Lansing, Michigan Federal District Court to pension fund abuse. The FBI arrested, booked, photographed, and fingerprinted him before releasing Lasch who then moved to Charleston to raise money for McConnell and the Hunley.)

McConnell personally “rammed [the venture] down the SCSPA’s throat.” I have tens of thousands of documents proving that. Including letters McConnell and John Hazzard edited for Lasch threatening the SCSPA with legal action if the SCSPA didn’t stop asking to see CIP’s books.

McConnell even had Rep. Wallace Scarborough threaten SCSPA’s chairman with a cutoff of state dredging money if SCSPA didn’t stop asking CIP to show SCSPA CIP’s books.

At the end, Lasch, Schachte and Tapp all walked away, i.e., the SCSPA dropped its lawsuit and the SCSPA “ate” about $5 million in debt CIP rang up.

Private companies can work on Charleston’s waterfront — operating marine terminals (as in other states) — but must get a “license agreement” from Glenn McConnell and other corrupt legislators who control the SCSPA.

Campaign contributions and Hunley donations are prerequisites.

Uncle Willie October 30, 2012 at 3:34 pm

And to add insult to injury she has gutted the only agency that could possibly help recover our status with the Corps and the courts, but DHEC is a toothless/gutless puppet organization now.

Field-Dressed DHEC October 30, 2012 at 5:30 pm

“DHEC is a toothless/gutless puppet organization now.”

DHEC has been for a while a toothless/gutless puppet organization.

It is funny to hear people wonder how, or who, Haley pressured at DHEC to get them to drop the technical objections to the Savannah dredging. Haley, nor any big shot, especially a political big shot, doesn’t have to pressure the Bureau of Water at DHEC for a favorable decision, one merely has to let their wishes be known. The ladder-climbing DHEC Bureau of Water management fall over themselves to oblige. Templeton is likely improving things there. She at least has a backbone.

Waterfront commentator October 30, 2012 at 4:43 pm

Linked-In now has a community group, “RoRo-Shipping” catering to shippers and carriers in the “roll-on, roll-off” shipping industry.

As I’ve written here before, the Jasper terminal is well-suited to a RoRo marine terminal because it is vast, with thousands of available acres, and does not require dredging since RoRo vessels draw, at maximum, 36 feet. (The draft at the site is now 42 feet.)

The ports authorities of both South Carolina and Georgia, however, oppose this use of the property because it would cannibalize their existing RoRo businesses in Charleston and Brunswick, respectively.

Private entities — RoRo carriers and marine terminal operators — would jump a the chance to develop that property. Create jobs, pay taxes, develop infrastructure.

What a pity.

And South Carolina’s lead representative on that bi-state commission?

Bill Bethea, a politically-connected lawyer with no marine terminal or transportation expertise, appointed by Gov. Haley.

The SCSPA board held an informal party when Bethea left the SCSPA board.

Thanks, governor.

Old Bike Dude October 30, 2012 at 6:06 pm

Nim could travel throughout SC giving syphillis to newborns and still get elected as a republican. We deserve all the toxic sludge dumped here.


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