The letter asked the DHEC board not to conduct another review of the permit at the agency level but to allow the parties to move to the courts “in the most expeditious manner possible.”
The permit can be appealed through the Administrative Law Court and the issue could then go to circuit court.
It would be the third court case challenging the terminal. There’s a federal court suit and, last week, a special referee recommended to the state Supreme Court that a state lawsuit should proceed on whether or not the expanded cruise industry comprises a public nuisance.
The dispute over the cruises has been going on for several years. Three years ago, Carnival Cruise Lines permanently based its 2,056-passenger liner Fantasy in Charleston, giving the city a year-round cruise industry. Before that the city only had a handful of seasonal cruises. Opponents say the added tourists, traffic congestion and smoke from the cruise liners are destroying the historic fabric of the city. (Wash Post, AP, 1/8/2012)