FLORENCE, SC (WMBF) – A letter from the U.S. Department of Justice shows the agency supports the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' decision to permit work on International Drive.
That letter from the DOJ's Environmental and Natural Resources Division was filed Monday, three days after a hearing was held in Florence's John J. McMillan Federal Building in reference to motions for preliminary injunction and contempt.
Those motions were filed on behalf of the Coastal Conservation League, which is suing Horry County and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for what has been deemed an improper permit for the International Drive work.
In its letter to Judge R. Bryan Harwell, who will rule on the motions, the DOJ cites case law in coming to its decision to support the Corps of Engineers in regards to International Drive.
"In this regard, deference to the Corps' expertise is appropriate even where other agencies disagree, including instances where the Court might find the contrary views of other agencies more persuasive," the letter stated.
During the Oct. 28 hearing, the lawyer for the Corps told the judge the organization did go through all of the proper steps to look at environmental effects and came to the decision to issue the permit.
In regards to the motion of contempt that was filed, the CCL said Horry County officials did not follow a temporary restraining order that had been agreed upon by both sides and applied to certain aspects of the construction of International Drive.
Those restrictions are in place until the judge makes a decision about the preliminary injunction, which would completely halt construction until a full trial is held.
Read the DOJ's full letter below: