Judge: Opponents can challenge terminal permit

      By BRUCE SMITHAssociated Press

      CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) - A state judge has ruled that Charleston neighborhood, conservation and preservation groups may challenge a state permit for a $35 million South Carolina passenger cruise terminal.

      In a 16-page ruling issued Monday, Chief Administrative Law Judge Ralph K. Anderson III rejected the South Carolina Ports Authority request to dismiss the groups' challenge to a permit issued earlier by the state Department of Health and Environmental Control.

      DHEC certified that putting additional pilings beneath an old warehouse so it can be renovated for the terminal complies with state coastal regulations.

      Anderson ruled that those challenging the permit have standing to show they will be harmed by an expansion of the cruise industry. The permit challenge is one of three ongoing legal challenges to the city's cruise industry.

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