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176 Concord Street, P.O. Box 22287, Charleston, SC 29413-2287
Contact: Erin Dhand, Manager, Corporate Communications and Community Affairs
Telephone: 843-577-8121 • Fax: 843-577-8127 • e-mail: EDhand@scspa.com


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
11/15/2007

Ports Authority to Grant Conservation Easement on Wando Property

The South Carolina State Ports Authority is further protecting and preserving about 100 acres of buffer at the Wando Welch Terminal adjacent to Hobcaw Creek.

The Ports Authority is granting a conservation easement to the Mount Pleasant Open Space Foundation for property just south of the terminal, which is also protected under the 1979 settlement agreement that allowed the terminal to be built.

“This conservation easement further ensures that the natural buffer zone along Hobcaw Creek will remain for the benefit of both the terminal and our neighbors,” said Bernard S. Groseclose Jr., president & CEO of the South Carolina State Ports Authority.

While the 1979 agreement provided substantial buffers, in 2005 the Ports Authority worked with the Hobcaw Creek Alliance of five neighborhoods around the terminal to further enhance and strengthen the separation between industrial and residential uses.

The Ports Authority and the neighborhoods eventually signed an agreement acknowledging that the terminal would be completed and that the Ports Authority would seek to enhance buffering and take other steps to minimize its impact.

This conservation easement is a separate, but complementary, action. Last year, the Ports Authority met with and heard from Town officials who supported the easement, including Councilman Gary Santos, as well as the Open Space Foundation. Members of the Charleston County Legislative Delegation representing East Cooper supported the easement, once planning and permitting of the terminal's completion was concluded. In August, with the support of the neighborhoods, Charleston County provided the necessary approvals for completion of the terminal, opening the door for the conservation easement.

Under the easement, the property must be maintained as a natural vegetative buffer and no structures of any kind are permitted.