Charleston, SC — The passage of H.5303, the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) of 2016 by the U.S. House of Representatives on September 29, 2016, moves the Charleston Harbor Deepening Project closer to securing the authorization necessary to begin construction.
“We applaud the House of Representatives for making this critical legislation a priority before the lame duck session,” said Jim Newsome, SCPA President and CEO. “The entire South Carolina Delegation has worked diligently to ensure the bill moves forward in order to enable the project to begin construction next year. Thanks to their support, we are well-positioned to be the deepest harbor on the East Coast by the end of the decade.”
H.5303 passed with a vote of 399-25. A conference committee will now be formed to work through the differences between the House and Senate versions during the Congressional recess.
“Passage of this bill by the House represents another hurdle cleared for Charleston Harbor Deepening,” said SCPA Board Chairman Pat McKinney. “We are deeply appreciative of our entire delegation’s efforts. This milestone is the result of years of hard work and ensures our Port’s world-class deepening project remains on track.”
The Charleston Harbor Deepening Project was formally recommended for Congressional authorization in January with the issuance of the Record of Decision by the Assistant Secretary of the Army (Civil Works). The project has moved expeditiously through the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers SMART Planning process and received strong support by all levels of government. In 2012 the S.C. General Assembly set aside $300 million for the state share of the project, and it was expedited by the Administration as a “We Can’t Wait” initiative.
“Today’s action in the House is tremendous news, and I congratulate our delegation for their tireless efforts on behalf of the Port and the entire state,” said Senator Larry Grooms, SC Review and Oversight Commission on the SCPA Chairman.
Upon completion, the project will deepen the Charleston Harbor to 54 feet at the entrance channel and 52 feet in the harbor.
About South Carolina Ports Authority
South Carolina Ports Authority (SCPA), established by the state’s General Assembly in 1942, owns and operates public seaport facilities in Charleston, Georgetown and Greer. In 2015 SCPA handled international commerce valued at more than $74 billion while receiving no direct taxpayer subsidy. An economic development engine for the state, Port operations facilitate 187,200 statewide jobs and generate nearly $53 billion annual economic activity. Home to the Southeast’s deepest port, SCPA is the industry leader in delivering speed-to-market, seamless processes and flexibility to ensure reliable operations, big ship handling, efficient market reach and environmental responsibility. For more information on SCPA, please visit www.scspa.com.
Manager, Corporate Communications and Community Affairs
SC Ports Authority