A state judge is suggesting that while Charleston's year-round cruise industry does not violate city zoning ordinances and state pollution laws, those challenging the ships may be able to show they are a public nuisance.
Circuit Judge Clifton Newman heard arguments in July in the case brought by preservation groups, environmentalists and city residents.
Newman had been appointed as a special referee by the state Supreme Court to hear the claims.
In his report to the justices, he recommends dismissing claims that the cruises violate city zoning ordinances and the state Pollution Control Act. But Newman also said the plaintiffs may be able to make their case that soot, traffic and noise from the ships are a public nuisance. He says those claims should be heard.