Corps: Keep Maritime panel out of dredging suit

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) -- The Army Corps of Engineers wants a federal judge to block South Carolina's Savannah River Maritime Commission from entering a federal lawsuit challenging the $650 million deepening of the Savannah River shipping channel.

In a filing late Monday, the corps says allowing the commission in would delay the case and open issues that weren't originally raised. The argument is the same as one put forward last week by the Georgia Ports Authority which also wants to be made a party to the suit.

The original suit filed by environmental groups contends the corps needs a South Carolina pollution permit before the deepening work can begin. The suit alleges toxic cadmium from river silt will be dumped in a dredge spoils area on the South Carolina side of the river.

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