December 6, 2022

Adam Parker, The Post and Courier

SC court decision favors WestEdge Foundation in Gadsden Creek challenge

A legal challenge to stop the WestEdge Foundation from eliminating what’s left of Gadsden Creek resulted in a ruling that could clear the way for major infrastructure upgrades on the West Side of the Charleston peninsula — if there’s no appeal.

The S.C. Administrative Law Court decision forces a devil’s bargain of sorts. The much-manipulated creek runs along a leaky landfill in need of attention, and the waterway is too small to mitigate flooding, even if the natural environment were somehow restored.

That’s what Judge Ralph Anderson III determined.

“In a perfect world, preserving and restoring the creek would clearly be the desired outcome,” he wrote in his opinion. “The creek is a valuable resource. But this is a very unique situation, and the creek is tainted by a landfill that must be dealt with.” (...)

Amy Armstrong, executive director of the South Carolina Environmental Law Project, which is representing Friends of Gadsden Creek, said consultations will determine whether an appeal is pursued.

“Part of what SCELP does is we choose strong cases, and expect we’ll need to appeal decisions,” she said, adding that feasible alternatives were not formally evaluated and that filling in the creek would mostly benefit private interests.

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