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Posted: June 5, 2012 12:13 p.m.

S.C. court hears Savannah River lawsuit


COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — South Carolina's highest court is questioning the authority of a state agency to bypass a special commission in discussions over dredging the Savannah River.

Justices heard arguments Tuesday in a lawsuit by environmentalists who say the Savannah River Maritime Commission created by South Carolina lawmakers oversees the Palmetto state's side of the river.

Agencies that want to deepen the river to help larger ships get to the Savannah, Ga., port say decisions should be made by South Carolina's environmental board.

Justices told an attorney representing the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control on Tuesday that the agency's board broke the law when it negotiated with the Georgia Ports Authority and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers without including the commission.

The court will issue its decision later.

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Kinnard can be reached at http://twitter.com/MegKinnardAP


Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.

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