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Charleston residents are pleased with the enviable tourist destination they've created and they are fitfully cautious of how a booming cruise business could quickly overwhelm the relatively small city.

It’s been almost four years since the South Carolina Ports Authority announced plans to build a new $35 million cruise terminal in downtown Charleston.

Under the original schedule, the terminal would have been open by now. Instead, questions about the terminal and the city’s year-round cruise industry have ended up in court.

Lawsuits are in federal court and before the state Supreme Court, and a state administrative law judge will hear arguments in January in a challenge of a permit for the project.

Jim Newsome is the authority’s president and CEO, and he says the agency is in no rush.

He says the existing terminal is being used and that resolving the issues in the cases is not only important to the cruise industry, but to port operations in general.

Copyright (2013) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


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Tags: carnival, politics, preservation

Photo credit: Almost 4 years on, SC cruise plan still in court. Associated Press

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