May 22 2014

Charleston, Georgetown Ports Will Benefit from Senate Passage of Water Resources Development Act

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today said both the Charleston Harbor Deepening project and Georgetown Port will benefit from passage of the Water Resources Development Act.

The legislation passed the Senate 91-7. It has already passed the House of Representatives and will now be sent to President Obama for his signature.

"This is incredibly good news for both Charleston and Georgetown," said Graham. "We all know how important the Charleston Harbor deepening project is both to the local community and the entire state. The provisions we worked hard to include in this legislation will allow the Charleston Port to move from the study phase to the design and construction phase without interruption. This is another big step forward."

Graham was an early and ardent advocate for deepening Charleston Harbor and has fought repeatedly to secure federal authorization and funding for the project. He noted the provisions included in the legislation:

• Charleston Harbor deepening project can no longer be stalled for an indefinite period of time while waiting for the Congress to act (creates options for projects to move forward);
• allows for federal reimbursement of construction and Operation & Maintenance costs under certain conditions;
• changes eligibility for federal Operation & Maintenance funding from 45 to 50 feet; and
• retains important language to help smaller, emerging harbors to more effectively compete for federal funding.

"The Georgetown port will also benefit from the changes we made which will allow ports like Georgetown to aggressively compete for federal funding," said Graham. "Georgetown has different needs than Charleston and we addressed them in a manner which will help the local community be prepared to compete and win in the future."

"Finally, I truly appreciate the work my friend and colleague, Senator Tim Scott, has done to move these projects forward," said Graham. "In the House, it was a team effort with the entire delegation supporting these critical provisions. The South Carolina delegation, House and Senate, worked together as a team and were able to deliver for the state. I'm proud of our work."