1.11: Port expansion struggles
(Week of March 19, 2002)
MARCH 15, 2002 - - Fireworks should ignite a Wednesday
hearing of the Senate Transportation Committee as senators considering
port expansion grapple with a blistering report by the Legislative
Audit Council on the S.C. Ports Authority.
Sources say the report, which will be made public
10 a.m. Tuesday, may make or break efforts to expand the port onto
Daniel Island in Charleston. While some senators have received early
briefings on the report, none by law can comment or provide details
pending public release of the report. You can view it Tuesday by
going online to: http://www.state.sc.us/sclac/
Meanwhile, some senators reportedly have told business
and Chamber proponents of a port expansion bill by Sen. Jim Ritchie
(R-Spartanburg) that the bill won't pass because Lowcountry and
environmentally-minded senators will filibuster and have enough
votes to thwart motions to close debate.
Ritchie's bill would, among other things, allow
the port to start the process to get appropriate permits to expand
on Daniel Island.
Opponents say supporters of the bill need to turn
their eyes to existing industrial areas, such as Drum Island, part
of the old Navy Base, the Weapons depot or adjoining acreage for
an acceptable spot for port expansion.