By MEG KINNARD
COLUMBIA, SC (AP) - A federal judge will not dismiss a lawsuit over a pollution permit for the $650 million deepening of the Savannah River shipping channel.
U.S. District Judge Richard Gergel wrote in an order released late last week that the time is right to hear the case against the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers over the project. The deepening of the 38-mile channel is expected to begin in the spring.
The environmental groups say the long-awaited project will dredge up toxic cadmium in river silt that will be dumped on the South Carolina side of the river that divides the state from Georgia.
The corps had asked Gergel to dismiss the suit, saying the plaintiffs have not been harmed and the case is premature.