A $4 million agreement to mitigate the potential effects on the surrounding communities of Palmetto Railways’ construction of a railway at the former Charleston Navy Base was announced at a press conference Wednesday, November 9 at the corner of North Carolina and Reynolds Avenues in North Charleston.
The agreement includes measures to avoid environmental damage to nearby neighborhoods while providing money to construct a new recreation facility on land donated by the City of North Charleston on property behind the Military Magnet Academy in North Charleston and fund initiatives in affordable housing, job training, educational initiatives, environmental research, community youth initiatives, and building the capacity of local organizations.
Speakers at the event included leaders from the Chicora Neighborhood Council, the Union Heights Neighborhood Council, the Low Country Alliance for Model Communities (LAMC), the Metanoia Community Development Corporation, and Palmetto Railways. The agreement represents months of dialogue and hard work between community leaders and the leadership of Palmetto Railways.
“We are proud to have partnered with the Chicora-Cherokee Neighborhood Association, the Union Heights Community Council and the LowCountry Alliance for Model Communities to reach a mitigation agreement with Palmetto Railways for mitigation against the negative effects of a new rail facility being constructed adjacent to the Chicora Neighborhood in North Charleston!” — Metanoia
“Vibrant stakeholder engagement and partnerships are the backbone of EJ 2020 and essential to achieving meaningful outcomes for overburdened communities,” said Denise Tennessee, Director of EPA Region 4’s Office of Environmental Justice and Sustainability.
“The agreement announced today is a win-win for community engagement, for the citizens in the State of South Carolina, and for all communities throughout the Southeast that face similar challenges.” — EPA Region IV.
“We are excited to be a part of this effort to create opportunities in our communities through this agreement with Palmetto Railways.” — Rebecca Rushton, President of Chicora/ Cherokee Neighborhood.
“I am honored to have worked with a group of dedicated community activists to create opportunities to help address core areas of concerns in disadvantaged communities. What we achieved here today allows communities the resources to not only address industrial growth but to benefit from that growth.” — Omar Muhammad, President of the Lowcountry Alliance for Model Communities