Proposal would settle Savannah harbor lawsuits

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Associated Press

Posted on April 17, 2013 at 5:01 PM

Updated Wednesday, Apr 17 at 10:01 PM

SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) — Georgia Port officials and a South Carolina agency have agreed to a proposed settlement seeking to end lawsuits between the neighboring states over a $652 million plan to deepen the shipping channel to the busy Port of Savannah.

Other parties also must accept Wednesday's compromise before it can take effect.

A settlement would potentially clear two big obstacles Georgia officials have faced in trying to deepen more than 30 miles of the Savannah River to make room for supersized cargo ships after the Panama Canal finishes a major expansion in 2015.

A deal would settle disputes with state officials in South Carolina and conservation groups that sued in U.S. District Court. They argued that allowing the Army Corps of Engineers to deepen the Savannah harbor from 42 to 47 feet would cause unacceptable environmental harm.

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