Judge denies environmental group's motions regarding International Drive

Judge denies environmental group's motions regarding International Drive

FLORENCE, SC (WMBF) – A federal judge sided with Horry County in his rulings on two motions filed in relation to work on International Drive.

According to orders issued Friday, Judge Bryan Harwell denied motions filed by the Coastal Conservation League and the South Carolina Wildlife Federation for preliminary injunction and contempt.

The CCL, represented by the South Carolina Environmental Law Project, is suing Horry County and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for what SCELP said is an improper permit.

The preliminary injunction would have paused construction until a full trial is held if the judge had ruled in favor of it.

Additionally, a temporary restraining order was already agreed upon by both sides and applied to certain aspects of construction of International Drive. Those restrictions were in place until the judge made a decision about the preliminary injunction.

The motion for contempt was filed because the CCL said Horry County did not follow that temporary restraining order.

In his order denying the motion for contempt, Hartwell noted the "plaintiffs have not shown by clear and convincing evidence that Horry County violated a clear and unequivocal command of the Sept. 23, 2016 consent order."

Also, since the motion for preliminary injunction was also denied, the court dissolved the temporary restraining order.

"Finally, another verdict in our favor," said Felicia Soto, one of a group of concerned citizens along S.C. 90 who have been pushing for work on International Drive. "We have such confidence that everyone is seeing and hearing the necessity of what this road is all about."

A message left for Nancy Cave, with the Coastal Conservation League, was not immediately returned Friday evening.

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