Cruise ordinance goes before Charleston council

      CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) - The ongoing debate over cruise ships on the South Carolina coast is going before the Charleston City Council.

      The council on Tuesday considers an ordinance putting on paper an agreement between the State Ports Authority and the city providing for public notification of any expansion of the cruise business.

      Mayor Joe Riley wrote council members saying the Ports Authority has already agreed it will not exceed 104 cruise calls without contacting the city. He says there will be 89 ships this year and it's not likely the authority will want to exceed the limit.

      Critics of the cruises have said the ordinance has no teeth.

      The industry is already subject of a state court lawsuit brought by community and environmental groups.

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