January 2002

Phone: 843.670.3996


2002-2004, South Carolina Statehouse Report. Published weekly during the S.C. legislative session. South Carolina Statehouse Report is a media project of The Brack Group, Charleston, S.C.

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1.02: Expansion of the Port of Charleston
(Week of Jan. 15, 2002)

On Thursday (1/17), look for a major push by the Port of Charleston to get lawmakers behind a plan to move forward on a new port facility on the Cooper River side of Daniel Island.

Sources say the State Ports Authority, which has been working hard to lobby lawmakers statewide, will unveil a revamped five-point plan to move forward on the Daniel Island facility. The guts of the plan reportedly result from a deal between the State Ports Authority, the State Infrastructure Bank and the S.C. Department of Transportation. Among the highlights of the proposal, which will have to get legislative approval:

  • Permitting. They'll seek a green light to start the permitting process on a Daniel Island facility on the Cooper River. One source said starting the permitting process didn't mean the facility would be built on Daniel Island, but it allowed the agency to have the flexibility to build there if the location were given final approval down the road.

  • Indemnification. They'll ask for indemnification for members of the Ports Authority board.

  • Task force. They'll seek a special multi-agency committee (Ports, DOT, Infrastructure Bank, railroads and the like) to study infrastructure needs posed by port options.

Reaction to a revamped ports plan is likely to be mixed. On one hand, port expansion on Daniel Island is at the top of the State Chamber of Commerce's business agenda. For businesses across the state, the port is a statewide resource used to attract jobs and drive commerce. "The failure to act quickly to expand the existing facilities of the Port of Charleston will have the dramatic effect of denying opportunities for economic progress as well as exposure to global leading edge technologies for the working citizens of South Carolina," according to the Chamber's business agenda.

On the other hand, an early legislative push in the General Assembly that's targeted at the whole body may further alienate key Charleston lawmakers who oppose the port expansion. Some Upstate, Pee Dee and Midlands lawmakers support expansion but may be reluctant to move forward until it's clear the Charleston community - and their Charleston peers - are happy with the port's plans.

Some statistics about the impact of the Port:

  • It's the fourth busiest container cargo port in the nation with $33 billion of cargo annually.

  • More than 83,000 S.C. jobs and $13 billion in annual economic impact depend on the state's Ports Authority terminals (this includes Georgetown and Port Royal's smaller terminals).

  • Of the state's 50 top manufacturing employers, 47 import or export through the ports. Some 700 companies statewide use Ports facilities.

11/3: Use your vote wisely: a lesson
10/27: SC GOP to keep control of House
10/20: Black voters may be secret weapon
10/13: Talk is cheap; action takes courage
10/6: Creating sunshine to dampen negative ads
9/29: SC Set to be world leader in news research
9/22: SC Senate shift could be around corner
9/15: Gov's race about barbs, ads, not people
9/8: Shorfall may cause look at prison alternatives
9/2: Revitalize your patriotism by participating
8/25: S.C.'s fiscal situation could be a lot worse
8/18: State wetlands policy needed
8/11: The bully vs. the whiner
8/4: Noah's Ark approach to tax reform
7/28: Two-party system could be political outcome
7/21: State budget woes loom for 2 more years
7/14: Agencies can do better job on Internet
7/5: Thank a guardsman today for service
6/28: Hodges-Sanford race will be wild ride
6/21: Sanford-Peeler race's impact on GOP
6/14: Ethics reform needed now

More done than you'd think(1.23)
More education $ also means cuts (1.22)
PSC reform to come, but when?(1.21)



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