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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
6/9/2008

S.C. State Ports Authority Challenges Business and Community Leaders to Take the “Pledge for Growth”

Charleston, SC - The South Carolina State Ports Authority (SPA) is issuing a challenge to business and community leaders—to take the “Pledge for Growth” (www.PledgeforGrowth.com) by committing to projects beneficial to the environment and their communities.

“The South Carolina State Ports Authority has made a pledge to responsible growth,” said Bernie Groseclose, president and CEO. “We understand that growth can mean even greater things for the entire area, including opportunities for better jobs, stronger communities and a cleaner, healthier environment.”

The SPA is leading one of the state's largest environmental mitigation efforts to date - and was one of the first in the nation to consider “people” impacts for communities in the terminal expansion area. The Pledge for Growth encompasses all of the SPA-led environmental and community programs, many of which go above and beyond what is required.

All of the programs are related to four main areas—Land, Air, Water and People. Among the efforts, the SPA is reducing port-related air emissions and funding an air monitoring station, working with North Charleston to create new employment opportunities and create affordable housing, improving water quality and contributing to land conservation efforts in the Charleston area.

The announcement of the Pledge for Growth was held at the Harbor Grille at Fountain Walk in downtown Charleston, overlooking Drum Island and the Charleston Harbor. Drum Island is the site of a project with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to restore 22 acres of tidal march into a functional march ecosystem—an area more than double the acreage affected by development of the new Port terminal.

During the presentation, Groseclose detailed potential Pledges, reinforcing that a Pledge can be something simple, such as expanding a recycling program, or a larger effort, such as switching to ultra low-sulfur diesel fuel or replacing equipment and vehicles with newer, more environmentally-sensitive models. Groseclose also announced that he would be reaching out to the SPA's maritime partners and encouraging them to take the Pledge.

Information was also shared about a new Web site (www.PledgeforGrowth.com) and series of videos created to better highlight the SPA's environmental and community efforts as a whole. The Web site and videos detail efforts related to the four main areas, and additional information can be downloaded and printed from the site. The videos, filmed by volunteer partners, detail some of the current environmental and community efforts.

Pledges can be made online at www.PledgeforGrowth.com, where a company, organization or individual can commit to one or more efforts related to Land, Air, Water and People. Through these new resources and the Pledge for Growth, the SPA is reinforcing that a cleaner environment is mutually compatible with economic development.

“The SPA realizes that, to truly enhance our communities, it will take a widespread effort. We hope the Pledge for Growth will inspire action by responsible executives and companies willing to do their part,” added Groseclose.

Also in attendance was Pat Barber, president of the Charleston Motor Carriers Association, who announced a Pledge for Growth commitment. The Charleston Motor Carriers Association committed to continue working with the SPA and DHEC to determine additional ways to save fuel and reduce air emissions.

“The Port is leading the way in their environmental and community efforts, and going above and beyond what is required,” said Barber. “The Motor Carriers Association applauds the Port for stepping forward and encourages other companies and organizations to take their own Pledge for Growth.”

To learn more about the Port's environmental and community efforts, and to take a Pledge for Growth, visit www.PledgeforGrowth.com.