FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
COASTAL CONSERVATION LEAGUE
January 30, 2018
Jason Crowley – [email protected] – (843) 723-7933
Caitie Forde-Smith – [email protected] – (252) 714-4790
Community Groups ask Supreme Court to Preserve Rights to Challenge Government Approval of Polluters on Behalf of Affected Citizens
CHARLESTON, SC – On Monday, January 29, the Southern Environmental Law Center (SELC) asked the South Carolina Supreme Court to review, and reverse, last year’s South Carolina Court of Appeals decision, which said local groups lacked standing to challenge permits for the State Ports Authority’s proposed new cruise terminal. SELC filed on behalf of Preservation Society of Charleston, Historic Charleston Foundation, Historic Ansonborough Association, S.C. Coastal Conservation League, Charlestowne Neighborhood Association, Charleston Chapter of the Surfrider Foundation, and Charleston Communities for Cruise Control.
“South Carolinians have the right to ask a court to review a government decision that affects them,” Blan Holman, attorney for SELC, said. “Our courts have long recognized that right, and community groups representing affected citizens should be granted the same opportunity.”
“Lower courts closed the courthouse door to citizens whose health and welfare are threatened by more pollution and DHEC’s pollution permission slip,” Holman said.
The case concerns the right of South Carolina citizens to challenge permits for major pollution near their homes and neighborhoods. Specifically, the community groups contest the legality of state-issued pollution permits for a large new cruise ship terminal near homes in Charleston’s historic downtown Charleston. If approved, the terminal would bring 1,600 cars, 20 tractor-trailers, 16 trucks, 32 buses and 90 taxis daily, threatening air quality and further crowding an already-congested region.
“We hope the South Carolina Supreme Court stands up for the public’s ability to question state pollution permits,” Coastal Conservation League Communities and Transportation Director Jason Crowley said. “DHEC’s cruise ship terminal permit not only puts our community’s health and the environment in peril, it threatens the very fabric of Charleston’s National Historic Landmark District that visitors come to experience and enjoy.”
# # #
The Coastal Conservation League is a nonprofit advocacy organization dedicated to protecting the coastal resources of South Carolina. Our mission is to protect the natural landscapes, abundant wildlife, clean water and traditional communities by working with citizens, local governments and the state legislature.