Savannah Harbor Expansion Clears Court Hurdle

MarineLink.com
Wednesday, May 29, 2013

U.S. District Judge Richard M. Gergel accepted the settlement agreement between all parties involved in the mediation over the Savannah Harbor Expansion Project (SHEP) in an order that dismissed the federal litigation pending against the proposed deepening of the harbor channel.

“We appreciate the patience and persistence of former Congressman Spratt and federal Magistrate Hendricks who worked throughout the mediation process ordered by Judge Gergel to bring this litigation to a successful conclusion,” said GPA Executive Director Curtis Foltz. “SHEP will benefit American exporters and consumers by better accommodating larger vessels, which deliver lower shipping costs per container.”

Parties to the mediation included the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control, the Savannah Riverkeeper, the South Carolina Coastal Conservation League, the South Carolina Wildlife Federation, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Georgia Ports Authority, and the South Carolina Savannah River Maritime Commission.

“We are very encouraged that both states have been able to resolve this matter, and allow a project that is critical for our national and regional economies to move forward,” said Georgia Governor Nathan Deal.

Deal recently signed a 2014 state budget that includes $50 million in state bonds for SHEP construction, bringing the total state dollars allotted to the project to $231.1 million. The harbor deepening is necessary to better accommodate the larger container ships that already arrive through the Suez Canal and soon will transit the Panama Canal, when its expansion is completed in 2015.

The world fleet is moving to larger container ships with the average vessel calling on the U.S. East coast shifting from a capacity of 4,500 twenty-foot equivalent container units (TEUs) to around 9,000 TEUs. Ships carrying roughly twice the volume on each trip will reduce fuel consumption and air emissions per ton of cargo. Cost savings should exceed 30 percent. The Corps of Engineers calculates the planned Savannah Harbor improvements will save shippers $213 million a year, or more than $10 billion over the life of the project. Economic studies show the $652 million project will provide $5.50 in benefits to the nation for each dollar invested.

The settlement agreement resolves all legal challenges to the project, including agreement on all outstanding state environmental approvals.

“I am pleased that we have reached a settlement in a timely fashion so that this vital project for Georgia and the United States can advance unobstructed by litigation,” said Attorney General Sam Olens. “I appreciate the efforts of the Georgia Ports Authority and the legal team whose hard work and diligence made a resolution possible.”

The project is supported by an environmental plan developed over a 16-year process, involving a wide-ranging group of stakeholders: environmental organizations, state agencies, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Fish and Wildlife Service, and the National Marine Fisheries Service. They identified, studied and reached consensus on issues of environmental concern. The environmental projects included in the deepening plan are the product of the one of the most transparent, inclusive, and detailed reviews of any harbor-deepening project in the United States.

With Judge Gergel’s acceptance of the settlement – and issuance of a water quality certification and a coastal zone consistency determination – project construction can begin once Congress completes action on the Water Resources Development Act.

The Senate version of the WRDA, passed this month, approves the $652 million cost level of the deepening, which has increased since the project was authorized 13 years ago. The House now takes up the bill.

“Now that the concern of litigation has been resolved by a universal settlement, this vital project will move forward,” said GPA Board Chairman Robert Jepson. “The expanded harbor will perfectly complement Savannah’s landside infrastructure, which includes two Class I railroads, and direct access to Interstates 95 and 16.”

www.gaports.com

Maritime Today


The Maritime Industry's original and most viewed E-News Service

Maritime Reporter February 2016 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

Legal

Cautious Optimism on Pacific NorthWest LNG Report

Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency (CEAA)  has ruled that Pacific NorthWest LNG’s project in British Columbia would likely harm harbour porpoises and contribute to climate change,

UPS Oposes CP-NS Merger

UPS, one of North America’s largest intermodal shippers, has told federal regulators that it is against Canadian Pacific Railway's (CP's) proposed acquisition of Norfolk Southern Corp.

SunEdison Restrained from 'Unusual' Asset Transfers

Solar company SunEdison Inc said a U.S. court has restrained the company from making any unusual asset transfers until a hearing in a lawsuit brought on by investors

Ports

Indiana Ports Sets Cargo Record in 2015

State's three ports handle 12 million tons for first time in 54-year history  INDIANAPOLIS (Feb. 11, 2016) - The Ports of Indiana handled over 12.2 million tons of cargo in 2015,

DP World Bolsters Investment in India

DP World Pvt. Ltd, the world’s fourth biggest container port operator majority owned by the Dubai government, has plans to invest over $1 billion in India for augmenting its port-related operations.

Owner Fined for 'Dangerously Unsafe' Vessel

The owner of a harbor tanker has been fined £3,000 with more than £7,000 costs after pleading guilty to a charge of operating a vessel for being dangerously unsafe.

News

Libyan Navy Seizes Foreign Tanker

Libyan naval forces have seized a Sierra Leone-flagged oil tanker on suspicion of illegally entering Libyan waters in an attempt to smuggle gasoline, authorities said on Saturday.

Berlin film "Fire at Sea" shows Horror of Refugee Crossings

* Movie highlights tragedy of migrant crisis * Filmed mainly on Italian island of Lampedusa * Interleaves lives of islanders with refugees * Film competing for

BRP Wins Industry Award for Rotax Innovation

BRP’s Rotax Intelligent Shift and Throttle (iST) system was recognized by the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) with an Innovation Award in the Jet

 
 
Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Maritime Security Maritime Standards Navigation Pod Propulsion Port Authority Ship Electronics Ship Simulators Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction Winch
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.1102 sec (9 req/sec)