Dec 12 2014

Graham Pleased with South Carolina Port and Harbor Funding in Year-End Spending Bill

WASHINGTON -- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today said he was pleased with the funding provided for the Charleston Harbor deepening project and South Carolina's ports in the year-end spending bill, also termed the CR/Omnibus, which would fund most federal agencies through the end of FY 2015 and include a short term spending bill for the Department of Homeland Security.

The legislation passed the House of Representatives last night and will be considered in the Senate today.

Graham noted the South Carolina projects include:

• $1.2 million for Charleston Harbor Deepening and Construction;

• $695,000 for Charleston Harbor Deepening Feasibility study and continued investigation;

• $13.1 million for Charleston Harbor operations and maintenance;

• $5.93 million for Cooper River operations and maintenance;

"Completion of the Charleston Harbor deepening project remains the number one issue for South Carolina's economy," said Graham. "The Port of Charleston is the Palmetto State's gateway to the world. That's why I have long believed that, when it comes to Charleston Harbor deepening, failure is simply not an option."

Graham noted the legislation includes language for smaller ports like Georgetown which could help pave the way to operations and maintenance funding that would help restore the Georgetown Port to its authorized depth of 27 feet.

The report language says, "Concerns persist that the administration's criteria for navigation maintenance do not allow small, remote, or subsistence harbors and waterways to properly compete for scarce navigation maintenance funds. The Corps is urged to revise the criteria used for determining which navigation projects are funded in order to develop a reasonable and equitable allocation under this account. The criteria should include economic impact that these projects provide to local and regional economies, in particular those with national defense or public health and safety importance."

"The Georgetown Port can be another economic engine for the region, and the efforts we make in this legislation will pay dividends in the future," concluded Graham.