The Savannah River deepening, as seen from Charleston

An interesting piece in Sunday’s Charleston Post and Courier: What’s at stake with Savannah dredging?

The piece is laid out as a Q&A, with generally clear responses to basic historical questions as well as more immediate ones. The piece includes this little snippet about the relative political positions being staked out by the states’ leaders:

The Georgia Ports Authority passed a resolution in January supporting Charleston’s deepening project, and this month, Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal and U.S. Sens. Saxby Chambliss and Johnny Isakson pledged to support efforts to deepen both the Port of Savannah and the Port of Charleston. U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham has also said both states need to work together.

In contrast, South Carolina’s General Assembly in February passed a resolution opposing the Savannah deepening, and this month, Charleston’s legislative delegation voted to back the state’s Savannah River Maritime Commission in a challenge to the DHEC (Dept. of Health and Environmental Control) decision to allow the dredging.

The graphic accompanying the Post and Courier article

There is also disagreement about the viability of the proposed Jasper port. South Carolina officials claim — dubiously, I think — that the Jasper port is less likely ever to happen if the harbor is dredged to 48 feet now without plans in place for 50 feet.

S.C. Governor Nikki Haley recently made headlines — and made a lot of people angry — when her appointees reversed a previous position and granted a key environmental permit to the Corps of Engineers. She defended that decision today, but the controversy is clearly not over.