A permit issued by the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control will allow Dominion Energy to drill under Old Town Creek in West Ashley to provide power to an uninhabited enclave on Ghost Island, which has been the subject of scrutiny by local groups for its historical significance.

Previously, discussions between the City of Charleston and the island’s owner Christopher Swain called for holding off on work installing electrical lines to the island until the city completed a review of the project, according to reporting by The Post and Courier in December. Swain told the paper the project is “simply beautifying” the area for private use.

A notice dated July 1 from DHEC said the permit allows for a 1,135-foot directional bore under the creekbed starting near Mamie Street in West Ashley’s Ashleyville-Maryville neighborhood. According to the letter, 986 feet of that run is designated as a critical area by DHEC’s Office of Ocean and Coastal Resources Management.

If no challenges are brought within 15 calendar days, the permit allowing electrical conduit to be run to the island becomes final.

Local groups have said historical artifacts or burial sites may be present on the island, requesting an archaeological study of the area be done.

Charleston officials and DHEC have not responded to questions about the results of that review.

Holland Williams of the Historic Charleston Foundation told the City Paper that the group has inquired with DHEC to “determine the outcome of the cultural resources review that we previously requested,” but has not taken any formal action to challenge the permit. The Coastal Conservation League said it is also reviewing the permit.

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