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Measure rescinding SC dredging permit advances
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COLUMBIA, S.C. — A measure suspending the authority of South Carolina's environmental agency to make dredging decisions is a step away from heading to the governor's desk.

The joint resolution is designed to help lawmakers' efforts to undo a water quality permit granted by the Department of Health and Environment Control, which allows Georgia to expand the Savannah port.

The House approved the measure unanimously last week. The Senate followed with unanimous votes Tuesday and Wednesday.

The Senate added a clause to the measure before giving final approval Wednesday, which sends it back to the House.

The addition clarifies that the suspension that's retroactive to 2007 applies only to the Savannah port issue.

Gov. Nikki Haley has drawn criticism for asking her board chairman to hear Georgia's appeal.

SC DNR issues gag order on case


COLUMBIA, S.C. — The woman who leads the state's wildlife and natural resources commission doesn't want an agency official to talk about South Carolina's decision to allow dredging at the port of Savannah.

The State newspaper reports ( Caroline Rhodes says she doesn't want the Department of Natural Resources dragged into a lawsuit on the dredging.

Mike McShane is DNR's representative on the Savannah River Maritime Commission. The commission and environmentalists have sued to stop the project.

Rhodes says McShane should not speak on behalf of DNR regarding the project.

The state Department of Health and Environmental Control approved the Savannah port dredging in November, upsetting environmental groups and those who support the state port in Charleston and one proposed in Jasper County.

Rhodes spoke to a Senate committee Wednesday.


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