Tuesday, August 9, 2011

North Charleston rail battle turns to the courts

Late last week, lawsuits were filed by the City over the State of South Carolina’s unwillingness to honor the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed in 2002 that promised that rail access to the Port would only travel through the southern end of the former Navy Base.

The Federal suit was filed against the State of South Carolina, several state agencies, and the Army Corps of Engineers alleging that the State has embarked on a project that deviates from the permit application previously studied and approved by the Corps.  The State court suit alleges that the State has impermissibly broken its word.  The City is asking each court for an order prohibiting the State from taking any action to construct a rail yard in any manner that would violate the 2002 MOU.

Additionally, last Friday the Supreme Court of South Carolina denied a request filed by the State of South Carolina that asked for the 2002 MOU to be ruled upon in an expedited fashion by dispensing with normal court procedures.

North Charleston Mayor R. Keith Summey stated, “We believe that this decision made by the Supreme Court and the lawsuits filed in federal and state court are positive steps toward a meaningful outcome to this dispute for the citizens of North Charleston.  The State’s refusal to honor the 2002 MOU has led us to this point. Despite recent events, we would still prefer a solution to be found outside of the court room.  If the State will simply keep its promises I am confident that together we can find a solution.”

Mayor Summey on 1250 WTMA discussing rail lawsuits

Lawsuit filed in Federal Court
Lawsuit filed in State Court

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