Tag Archives: St Marys River

Keep tugging on the not-to-mine end of the Okefenokee rope –Dink Nesmith 2023-01-25

Yes, why not this? “Why not have a rural development strike force that can laser in on the Charlton counties of Georgia? With enough bright minds, willpower and sufficient investment, oxygen can be pumped into the gasping communities that are—for the most part—on life support.”

That would be way better than a strip mine near the Okefenokee Swamp, the headwaters of the Suwannee and St Marys Rivers, above the Floridan Aquifer, from which we all drink.

Dink Nesmith, Georgia Recorder, January 25, 2023, Okefenokee tug-o-war is long way from over,

[Protest and Dragline]
Protest and Dragline

The opposing sides are not barefoot on Jekyll Island’s beach, but there’s a definite line drawn in the sand. Feet are dug in, and muscles are straining. On one side is an Alabama mining company and its fleet of high-powered lobbyists. Pulling the other way are millions of nature-loving Georgians who want to thwart Twin Pines Minerals from strip-mining near the Okefenokee Swamp.

This tug-o-war has been off and on for years. First it was Continue reading

Public Comment on land use plan for titanium strip mine too near the Okefenokee Swamp –GA-EPD 2023-01-19

GA-EPD is providing more public comment opportunity than it has been promising for the past year. It has opened a comment period on Twin Pines Minerals Mining Land Use Plan, after which it will do what it previously promised: issue a draft permit and open a comment period on that.

You can object now to that titanium dioxide strip mine for white paint far too close to the Okefenokee Swamp, which is the headwaters of the Suwannee and St. Marys Rivers, and sits above the Floridan Aquifer from which we all drink in south Georgia and north Florida. You can email or paper mail your comments, or join one of two zoom webinars.

The comment deadline is 60 days after the notice of yesterday, so apparently Monday, March 20, 2023.

[Proposed Project Location, 2-MLUP-App-N-b-Modeling-the-Groundwater-Flow-System-on-Trail-Ridge-9-14-2021-Figs-Tables-and-Apps-0012]
Proposed Project Location, 2-MLUP-App-N-b-Modeling-the-Groundwater-Flow-System-on-Trail-Ridge-9-14-2021-Figs-Tables-and-Apps-0012

The Twin Pines Minerals Draft Mining Land Use Plan and Associated Documents for Public Comment are on the GA-EPD website, and also on the WWALS website.

Here is the public notice: Continue reading

Okefenokee Swamp watershed boundaries 2015-08-01

Where is the divide in the Okefenokee Swamp between the Suwannee and St. Marys River Basins?

Here are some more maps that do not resolve that question.

For better resolution, advice from a qualified hydrologist is needed.

For reaching the likely divide area by water or land, it appears there are no open paths. Which doesn’t mean it can’t be done, just that it would be difficult.

Meanwhile, you can help stop the proposed titanium strip mine far too near the Okefenokee Swamp:
https://wwals.net/issues/titanium

[Basins and HUC10s, Okefenokee Swamp]
Basins and HUC10s, Okefenokee Swamp

Thanks to Mike Lusk, Manager of the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge (ONWR), for sending me the Water Resource Inventory and Assessment: Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge, USFWS, August 2015.

It contains this interesting map of sub-basins of the Okefenokee Swamp, which shows Continue reading

Unacceptable risk to mine near the Okefenokee Swamp –U.S. Interior Secretary Haaland 2022-12-07

She finally said what she did not say when she toured the Okefenokee Swamp back in September.

You can also tell the state of Georgia to stop the proposed strip mine far too close to the Okefenokee Swamp, the headwaters of the Suwannee and St. Marys Rivers, above the Floridan Aquifer from which we all drink.

[Interior Secretary Haaland in the Okefenokee Swamp 2022-09-16 Photo: Shannon Estenoz and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service]
Interior Secretary Haaland in the Okefenokee Swamp 2022-09-16 Photo: Shannon Estenoz and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Russ Bynam, AP in the AJC, 7 December 2022, Interior secretary: `Unacceptable’ to mine near famed swamp,

A member of President Joe Biden’s Cabinet is urging Georgia officials to deny permits for a proposed mine near the edge of the famed Okefenokee Swamp and its vast wildlife refuge

SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) — A member of President Joe Biden’s Cabinet is urging Georgia officials to deny permits for a proposed mine near the edge of the famed Okefenokee Swamp and its vast wildlife refuge, saying the plan poses “unacceptable risk” to the swamp’s fragile ecology.

“I write to express Continue reading

GA-DNR Board does not discuss mining near Okefenokee Swamp 2022-09-27

Nobody said anything new about the titanium strip mine proposed near the Okefenokee Swamp, when the Board of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources met at the Stephen C. Foster State Park Eco-Lodge, just outside the Okefenokee Swamp, in Fargo, Georgia.

But you can tell Georgia legislators and candidates in the election that a majority of Georgians say the state should immediately protect the Swamp from mining, according to a recent poll.
www.protectgeorgia.org/okefenokee

[DNR Board and Twin Pines dragline]
DNR Board and Twin Pines dragline

Citizens were not allowed to speak to the Board. But you can send them a message:
https://wwals.net/issues/titanium-mining/#howtocomment

Floridians, you can write to GA-DNR, too, telling them part of the Okefenokee Swamp is in Florida, and anything that affects it will affect the Suwannee River of the Florida State Song.
TwinPines.Comment@dnr.ga.gov

Former Valdosta City Council member John Eunice, now Assistand Director of the Georgia Environmental Protection Division, basically recited Continue reading

Okefenokee poll and U.S. Interior Secretary Deb Haaland 2022-09-16

Update 2022-12-08: Unacceptable risk to mine near the Okefenokee Swamp –U.S. Interior Secretary Haaland 2022-12-07.

Update 2022-10-06: GA-DNR Board does not discuss mining near Okefenokee Swamp 2022-09-27.

Last Friday Interior Secretary Deb Haaland toured to Okefenokee Swamp, along with Georgia U.S. Senator Jon Ossoff.

[Deb Haaland at ONWR]
Deb Haaland at ONWR

I was there Continue reading

Majority of Georgians Say Governor Should Immediately Protect the Okefenokee from Risky Mining 2022-09-15

Clergy, scientists, local governments, and elected officials have spoken out for protecting the Okefenokee swamp from risky mining proposals. And now a poll of Georgia voters shows that they are in good company.

A clear majority (69 percent) of Georgians said that Georgia’s Governor should take “immediate action” to protect the Okefenokee swamp from risky mining proposals. “Across the state, from congregations in downtown Atlanta to the mountains to the coast, Georgians understand what’s at risk with proposals to mine near the Okefenokee,” said Codi Norred, Executive Director of GIPL. Last year GIPL released a letter signed by over 100 clergy asking local and federal leaders to protect the Okefenokee. “We have a spiritual imperative to protect this special place.”

[Okefenokee Swamp and mine site]
Okefenokee Swamp and mine site

Continue reading

Titanium strip mine permitting tossed back to GA-EPD 2022-08-23

In case anybody has not heard this bad news: the Army Corps has reverted to its abdication of oversight of the proposed mine sight, throwing the permitting hot potato back to GA-EPD.

Further bad news in Twin Pines’ own press release is that former EPD director Harold Reheis is now advising Twin Pines.

Please continue to ask Georgia officals to stop this strip mine far too close to the Okefenokee Swamp, which is the headwaters of the Suwannee and St Marys Rivers.

And there’s an election going on. Ask each candidate their position on protecting the Okefenokee Swamp, and vote accordingly.

[GA-EPD Permitting Update, aerials of the proposed mine site]
GA-EPD Permitting Update, aerials of the proposed mine site

GEORGIA DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES
ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION DIVISION

Twin Pine Minerals, LLC
Second Permitting Update

Continue reading

Twin Pines Minerals sues Army Corps about oversight of strip mine site near Okefenokee Swamp 2022-06-27

Well, that did not take long. Only three weeks after an Assistant Secretary of the Army told the Army Corps it had to resume oversight of the proposed titanium-dioxide strip mine site too near the Okefenokee Swamp, the miners have sued the Corps. They still want to strip mine for white paint materials within three miles of the Okefenokee Swamp, an economic engine for southeast Georgia and northeast Florida, and an irreplaceable refuge for numerous land, water, and bird species. That Swamp is the headwaters of the St Marys and Suwannee Rivers, and above the Floridan Aquifer, from which we all drink in south Georgia and north Florida, including for agriculture and industry. There must be better sources of jobs for Charlton County, Georgia.

[Twin Pines Minerals equipment on proposed mine site 2022-02-12]
Photo: John S. Quarterman for WWALS, Twin Pines Minerals equipment on proposed mine site 2020-02-12, 30.52081, -82.1261

Mary Landers, The Current, June 27, 2022, Mining company sues Army Corps over project near Okefenokee: Twin Pines claims agency erred in overturning decision and seeking Muscogee Nation’s input.

Alabama-based Twin Pines Minerals filed suit against the Army Corps of Engineers last week, claiming the federal agency erred when it bowed to “stakeholder pressure” earlier this month and made it harder for the company to get permits to mine near the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge.

…In its filing, Twin Pines maintains “The Twin Pines Approved Jurisdictional Determinations were issued in compliance with all laws, regulations, and policies — including the tribal consultation policy — in effect when they were issued.”

More specifically, the company contends Continue reading

Georgia U.S. Senator Jon Ossoff advocates for protection of the Okefenokee Swamp 2022-05-25

Like Sen. Ossoff, you can help stop a strip mine proposed far too near the Okefenokee Swamp, which is the headwaters of the Suwannee and St Marys Rivers, and the mine sits on top of the Floridan Aquifer from which we all drink.

Senator Jon Ossoff is advocating for the protection of the Okefenokee swamp, Kyra Purvis, WFXL, Wednesday, May 25th 2022,

[Sen. Ossoff at the Okefenokee Swamp 2021-05-14]
Sen. Ossoff at the Okefenokee Swamp 2021-05-14

Senator Jon Ossoff is advocating for the protection of the Okefenokee swamp and its national wildlife refuge.

The swamp is currently being looked at by Twin Pines Minerals LLC as a place for titanium mining.

Ossoff is asking for a joint effort between both parties and is calling on all environmental agencies to protect one of Georgia’s most precious natural resources.

“Our state may lose the Okefenokee swamp, this precious natural resource, unless EPA (Environmental Protection Agency), the Army Corps and Georgia’s environmental protection division take action to stop it,” said Ossoff in his call to action, “Overwhelmingly the people of Georgia and of the local community treasure the Okefenokee swamp. But I’m sounding the alarm because we need an all hands-on deck effort now to bring the pressure to bear necessary to save the Okefenokee swamp from destruction.”

Ossoff says he has Continue reading