“Our goal has been to preserve South Carolina’s riverfront and the river’s pool as we know it, and this court decision is a victory for our side in achieving those goals.”
– South Carolina state Sen. Tom Young
Russell Wicke, a spokesman for the Corps’ Savannah District, which had proposed the plan, said the agency is reviewing the decision and noted the matter is still under litigation.
South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson said in a statement the order requires the Corps’ Savannah District to “develop a mitigation plan that maintains the water levels to avoid impacts on water supply and recreation.”
The Corps of Engineers has been tasked as part of a plan to deepen Savannah’s harbor to provide a fish passage so sturgeon can migrate to historic spawning grounds upstream.
“Our goal has been to preserve South Carolina’s riverfront and the river’s pool as we know it, and this court decision is a victory for our side in achieving those goals,” South Carolina state Sen. Tom Young, an Aiken Republican, told The Aiken Standar.
Young said three possible developments that could come next include an appeal by the Corps, a long-term legislative solution or the Corps could develop a different alternative for consideration.
North Augusta Mayor Bob Pettit said the key outcome was to delay construction of the weirs, which was scheduled to begin in January. He said the ruling is likely to be appealed, but he would like to see Congress renew funding for the lock and dam, originally built in 1937.