Backyard Brawl

Georgia 17, South Carolina 15. That was one tough contest on September 10th, and it could be a long, long time before you see a tougher one. On second thought, that SEC football game was kid stuff compared to what’s been developing over the last few years in Jasper County. Football is a simple game. Teams from two schools engage in a territorial struggle, and the one scoring the most points, within a designated period of time and according to well-publicized rules, wins the contest. There are modest financial gains for both schools, of course, and bragging rights for the winner. But 12 months later the conflict resumes.

In Jasper County, on land owned by the Georgia Department of Transportation but situated on the South Carolina bank of the Savannah River, several factions, rather than the usual two, are engaged in a territorial struggle. In this encounter the side scoring the most points in a court of law rather than in a sporting arena, will appear to emerge as the winner. The South Carolina State Ports Authority also figures prominently in the dispute, as does SSA Marine, one of the world’s largest stevedoring and port building companies. The bragging rights don’t amount to much, but the monies expended will amount to billions of dollars no matter which entity prevails through litigation. The apparent winner faces a stiff uphill battle from the Georgia Department of Transportation because the 1,863-acre site in Jasper County is being used by that Department as a dumping site for sediment from Savannah River dredging. Do you suppose the EPA will stand by and allow a replacement site to be desecrated if the Georgia Department of transportation gets an eviction notice?

This backyard brawl is nothing but a waste of time and money.
• SSA Marine has signed on to a $ 450 million agreement to develop the proposed terminal. Several years ago SSA Marine was provided with descriptions of our patented systems, and if the firm’s officials had examined the material they would not be pursuing this course.
• Several years ago the same descriptions were provided to the authorities at the Georgia Port Authority but no acknowledgment was given us for the receipt of this material. So we’ll assume that our systems have yet to be brought to the port’s attention, and we’ll allow the port’s officials to plead ignorance. The port claims the potential to increase its annual capacity to 4.3 million containers and is spending millions of dollars in an unnecessary attempt to acquire additional acreage in order to accommodate this increase in volume. That’s a shame. If our patented systems were in place the port’s existing acreage could handle and deliver twice that amount of volume in half the space now being utilized.
• Several years ago our material was provided to officials in the South Carolina State Ports Authority. We met with a curt dismissal even though we offered to install our system at no expense to the port. Today the authority is spoken of as a “quasi-state agency … with a recent history of aggressive practices and secretive conduct … saddled with $ 137 million in debt for existing improvements…” Well, we’re not surprised.

[Years from now, those who’ve knowingly stonewalled the efforts to install these patented, space-saving and cost-effective systems within their ports will be looked upon as sophomoric pinheads.]