Tag Archives: GA DNR

U.S. EPA still says mine would have substantial and unacceptable impact –Suwannee Riverkeeper 2019-12-31

In the Charlton County Herald, December 31, 2019:


Dear Editor,

The burden of proof is still on the miners to show their mine would not damage the Swamp or the Rivers, and they have not met that burden.

U.S. EPA still finds that “the proposed project will have a substantial and unacceptable impact on aquatic resources of national importance.”

[Distant 2019-11-23]
Anonymous drone aerial of heavy equipment on the mining site 2019-11-23.
River Styx is in the background, Okefenokee Swamp is on the horizon.
St. Marys River flows out top left horizon. Suwannee River flows out far side of Swamp.

That’s about “the permit application submitted by Twin Pines Minerals, LLC” for a titanium strip mine. “The proposed 2,414-acre mine area lies in proximity to the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge (NWR), and the potential secondary effects of the mine on the NWR have not been demonstrated by the permit applicant.”

This is the second letter EPA has sent to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers saying the mining application is deficient. We obtained a copy through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request. The entire letter is here: http://wwals.net/?p=50931.

You, too, can still comment to the USACE, and all comments they receive before the Corps announces a decision can be used in any potential lawsuits. The addresses are: Continue reading

Deadline Extended to September 14 12 on mining proposal near Okefenokee NWR 2019-07-19

Update 2019-07-22: Corrected headline to match extension date in GPB story. See also Charlton County, GA, BOCC 2019-07-18.

I asked the Charlton County Commission just yesterday to ask the Corps for an extension, and numerous other people and organizations have done so. The Corps has already responded.

Emily Jones, Georgia Public Broadcasting, 19 July 2019, Army Corps Extends Comment Deadline On Mining Near Okefenokee,

The Army Corps of Engineers is extending the deadline for public comments on a proposal to mine for minerals near the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge.

The new deadline is September 12, an additional 30 days from the original deadline of August 13.

Environmental groups were calling for the deadline extension.

Since there’s nothing on the Corps’ Public Notices website about that, I asked her how she knew. She said Senior USACE Public Affairs Officer Billy Birdwell, 912-652-5014. So I called him.

Billy Birdwell received a Certificate of Appreciation
Photo: USACE. Continue reading

Complete permit application, Twin Pines Minerals 2019-07-17

The complete 565-page permit application by Twin Pines Minerals, SAS-2018-00554, is now on the WWALS website.

News about it is all over North America, with more coming out daily.

You can go ahead and send in comments to the Army Corps of Engineers or to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources.

[Twin-Pines-Individual-Permit-Application--complete-0006]
Twin-Pines-Individual-Permit-Application–complete-0006

You can retrieve the complete application from Continue reading

GPB on mining proposal near Okefenokee NWR 2019-07-15

My vegetable buyer from St. Mary’s, GA, said “I heard you on the radio this morning.” Notice the map Georgia Public Broadcasting posted says “Phase I” in U.S Army Corps of Engineers Application SAS-2018-00554. The company actually owns land northwards all the way up next to the swamp.

[Phase I location Map]
Phase I location Map

Emily Jones, GPB Radio News, 15 July 2019, Mining Proposed Near Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge,

An Alabama company wants to mine for heavy minerals near the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge in southeast Georgia.

The proposal from Twin Pines Minerals called for Continue reading

Titanium mine near Okefenokee NWR 2019-07-12

Update 2019-07-18: The complete application is now on the WWALS website; you can comment now.

Friday, July 12, 2019, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers published a Public Notice for Application SAS-2018-00554 for a titanium mine southeast of the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge (NWR). Thursday I attended a meeting at the Okefenokee NWR near Folkston about that, and I met with agents of the miners back in April. The application is about the little purple area on this map they showed us at the end of April:

[Context]
Context

But that’s not the whole story; see below. Today this mine proposal is on the agenda for the WWALS board meeting.

Here are some things the application doesn’t tell you: Continue reading

Cleanup and Outing: Nankin Landing to Madison Highway: Withlacoochee River 2017-10-14

Now also a Rivers Alive cleanup in conjunction with Keep Lowndes-Valdosta Beautiful (KLVB). You can clean up, or clean up and paddle! Best to bring a rope for your boat: the Withlacoochee River is low, and there may be a few spots of dragging over shoals.

Through KLVB: Call (229)671-3698 to be assigned to Nankin Landing or another location.

Through WWALS: Come on down to Nankin Boat Ramp 9AM Saturday October 14, 2017!

State Line Shoals

Where: 6899 Clyattville-Nankin Rd, Valdosta, GA 31601, in Lowndes County, 30.675192, -83.394143

Details: See Continue reading

Alabama stricter sewage spill regulations and notification

Here’s an idea for Georgia and Florida!

Dennis Pillion, AL.com, 27 September 2017, Alabama cracks down on E. coli bacteria in rivers with revised standards,

Alabama sanitary sewer overflow
A sanitary sewer overflows into Opossom Creek in Hueytown, Ala.(Nelson Brooke, Black Warrior Riverkeeper)

Existing five-year permits are valid until they expire, but all new or renewed permits issued by the Alabama Department of Environmental Management going forward will include the new standards.

E. coli bacteria are commonly found in Continue reading

Sinkhole, Sabal Trail, Okapilco Creek, Brooks County, GA 2017-09-19

Update 2017-09-21: Yes, I reported it to GA-EPD, et al. (PDF), and here are facebook photos of most of the images below.

How close to exposed is Sabal Trail’s pipe? This sinkhole is at least a foot deep, maybe two or more, and Sabal Trail only buried their pipe three feet deep, despite requests by Brooks, Colquitt, and Lowndes Counties to bury it deeper.

At sinkhole, Sinkhole

N of sinkhole, Sinkhole

Is that fill material exposed Continue reading

Nankin Landing to Madison Highway: Withlacoochee River 2017-10-14

Back by popular request, 9.1 miles past two of the six second-magnitude springs in Georgia, into and back out of Florida, over numerous shoals, on the tea-colored Withlacoochee River in the fall, all on the Withlacoochee and Little River Water Trail.

When: 9AM Saturday, October 14, 2017

Put In: Nankin Boat Ramp, MILE 36.3, 6899 Clyattville-Nankin Rd, Valdosta, GA 31601, in Lowndes County.

GPS: 30.675192, -83.394143

WWALS banner at McIntyre Spring

Bring: the usual personal flotation device, water, snacks, trash bag, and trash picker: every WWALS outing is also a cleanup! If you do not have a boat, let us know, and probably somebody can loan you one, or contact one of the many outfitters.

Free: This outing is Free! And we recommend you support the work of WWALS by becoming a WWALS member today!

Event: facebook, meetup.

Take Out: Madison Highway Boat Ramp, MILE Continue reading

Sandhills and wildlife at Alapaha WMA

Matt Elliott, GA-DNR Wildlife Resources Division blog, 25 April 2017, Alapaha River WMA: Storied Site for Sandhills, Wildlife,

Alapaha River Wildlife Management Area had achieved near-legendary status in some circles well before the 6,869 acres were opened as a WMA on Sept. 30, 2016. The site has been variously known as the Lentile Tract, the Snake Sanctuary, Dan Speake’s indigo snake study site (by herpetologists familiar with the work of the Auburn University wildlife professor emeritus) and the Pasture (by local hunters).


UGA graduate student Erin Cork with an eastern indigo (John Jensen/DNR)

Providing the border along Irwin and Tift counties between Tifton and Ocilla, the Alapaha River at this point is Continue reading