Tag Archives: titanium dioxide

Okefenokee Swamp over proposed strip mine –Emily Floore, WWALS Webinar 2024-03-21

Emily Floore, St. Marys Riverkeeper, will give the third WWALS Webinar, about the Okefenokee Swamp, which is the headwaters of the St. Marys and Suwannee Rivers: why we protect it and the proposed strip mine that threatens it, as well as a recent Conservation Fund study.

This webinar will be by zoom, noon-1 PM, Thursday, March 21, 2024.

[Okefenokee Swamp over proposed strip mine --Emily Floore, WWALS Webinar]
Okefenokee Swamp over proposed strip mine –Emily Floore, WWALS Webinar

“WWALS and Suwannee Riverkeeper continue our work to protect the Okefenokee Swamp, 85% of which is in the Suwannee River Basin. We conduct outings for direct exposure, we have gotten city council and county commission resolutions passed, and we talk to Georgia state legislators, while expanding the issue into Florida. But the mine site is in the St. Marys River watershed. So I am very pleased that, since she’s been St. Marys Riverkeeper, Emily Floore has taken a strong position and action to support the Swamp and to oppose the mine,” said Suwannee Riverkeeper John S. Quarterman.

Register in advance with zoom for this meeting:
https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZcrdOmtqzkpGt3UGEP7SDw6JJaAVAPt9d30 Continue reading

Mayor and Chairman’s Paddle, Withlacoochee River, and Okefenokee Swamp on Scott James radio talk921.com 2024-02-02

We also talked about the future Troupville River Camp and Nature Park, in addition to defending the Okefenokee Swamp from a proposed stripmine, chainsaw cleanups, and the Mayor and Chairman’s Paddle, which will go around the river frontage of the pending Troupville Park.

This was Suwannee Riverkeeper John S. Quarterman on the Scott James radio talk show on talk921.com, Friday, February 3, 2024. I referred to him as Mayor, because Scott James Matheson is also the Mayor of Valdosta, Georgia.

We also prominently mentioned Lowndes County Chairman Bill Slaughter.

And Helen Tapp, from whom the county in December 2022 bought the 71 acres from Helen Tapp down to the Little River Confluence to add to the 44 acres already owned by Parks and Rec to combine for the proposed park.

[Mayor and Chairman's Paddle, Withlacoochee River, Okefenokee Swamp, and Troupville River Camp and Nature Park on Scott James radio talk921.com 2024-02-03]
Mayor and Chairman’s Paddle, Withlacoochee River, Okefenokee Swamp, and Troupville River Camp and Nature Park on Scott James radio talk921.com 2024-02-03

Here is a WWALS video playlist:
https://youtube.com/playlist?list=PLKwQ5xfKf-QwydpvXE-C4BTMUQqv4yfCg&si=CLMEdlCi8TM3d_Q6 Continue reading

Chant for the Okefenokee –Jane Ross Fallon 2024-01-04

As Jane Fallon sings,

There is no right way
To do the wrong thing.

[Movie: Chant for the Okefenokee --Jane Ross Fallon (8.5M)]
Movie: Chant for the Okefenokee –Jane Ross Fallon

You can help stop a strip mine too near the Okefenokee Swamp for titanium dioxide for white paint:
https://wwals.net/issues/titanium-mining

Georgians, ask your statehouse delegation to pass HB 71 to stop further such mines on Trail Ridge east of the Swamp.
https://protectgeorgia.org/okefenokee/#/366/

Floridians, ask your friends and relatives in Georgia to do this, and ask the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) to ask the Georgia Environmental Protection Division to deny the permits for this single point source of pollution upstream of Florida.

Jane Ross Fallon wrote, “I recently won the Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest. The contest video of my performance did not turn out, and it was suggested I film one myself. John S. Quarterman, Suwannee Riverkeeper, sent me a banner to use. So I made a video with my cell in my house. I didn’t think the sonic quality of the phone was adequate, so I recorded the song on my computer, overdubbing the video. Never done that before. Then I decided, it’s not about me, it’s about the song and its purpose. So I made a more elaborate presentation. Let me know if it works.😏”

Lyrics

Here is Jane’s video of her Chant for the Okefenokee.
https://youtu.be/UQx9eEWbEcI Continue reading

PFAS in the Santa Fe River Basin in Florida

Some people are interested in whether PFAS from titanium dioxide (TiO2) mines or other sources is getting into the New or Santa Fe Rivers in Florida.

For example, the new Chemours Trail Ridge South Mine southeast of Starke, Florida, appears to drain into Double Run Creek, which runs into the Santa Fe River.

[PFAS in Santa Fe River from TiO2 Mines?]
PFAS in Santa Fe River from TiO2 Mines?
Detail from WWALS map of the Suwannee River Water Trail.

We don’t know about those rivers yet, because nobody has tested them. We do have a few datapoints for a few city drinking water systems, and they’re all clean, although Newberry, just outside the Basin, is not.

No doubt it is possible to find that data in FDEP’s Oculus Document Management System, in the same way it is possible to win a jackpot in Las Vegas. If you already know about six very specific parameters, sure, Oculus will find it. Continue reading

DeKalb County, GA, resolution requesting protection for the Okefenokee Swamp 2023-10-24

Congratulations to DeKalb County for passing a resolution supporting the Okefenokee Swamp.

You can encourage your city council or county commission to pass such a resolutin. Local government resolutions help encourage state legislatures to pass bills.

And you can still ask GA-EPD to reject the permit applications for that strip mine for titanium dioxide for white paint.
https://wwals.net/issues/titanium-mining/

You can help save the Okefenokee Swamp, the headwaters of the St. Marys and Suwannee Rivers.

[DeKalb County Okefenokee Resolution 2023-10-24]
DeKalb County Okefenokee Resolution 2023-10-24
PDF

Thanks to all those who got it done. I would name them, but I’m not sure who they all were. Continue reading

Suwannee: Wild River on PBS 2023-09-06

This aired a few days ago on PBS: Suwannee: Wild River, in the series AMERICA OUTDOORS WITH BARATUNDE THURSTON, Season 2 Episode 1 | 53m 8s.

The Suwannee is one of the last wild rivers in America, and its watershed creates woods and wetlands, marshes, and cave systems. From its headwaters in the Okefenokee Swamp, Baratunde journeys downstream, meeting colorful denizens of the Suwannee. From jet skiers to herpetologists, manatees to snapping turtles, he learns how this unique environment inspires a whole range of passions.

[Baratunde Thurston in the Okefenokee Swamp and Rev. Antoine Nixon at the Suwannee Canal on PBS 2023-09-06]
Baratunde Thurston in the Okefenokee Swamp and Rev. Antoine Nixon at the Suwannee Canal on PBS 2023-09-06

It’s on YouTube: Continue reading

Chainsaw cleanup, Outings, Boat Ramps, Okefenokee Swamp –Suwannee Riverkeeper @ Clinch County Commission 2023-08-07

Update 2023-09-12: Clinch County Resolution against strip mine, for Okefenokee Swamp 2023-09-11.

In addition to its usual business of roads and taxes, the Clinch County Commission discussed with Suwannee Riverkeeper outings, boat ramps, and a proposed resolution against the strip mine too near the Okefenokee Swamp.

[Collage @ Clinch County Commission 2023-08-07]
Collage @ Clinch County Commission 2023-08-07

For the boat ramp, Clinch County can apply to the GA-DNR Recreational Trails Program, Nonmotorized. Andrew Schock, writing for the landowner, The Conservation Fund, sent a letter saying that among the half a dozen possibilities he favors Drawdy Mill Landing on Drawdy Mill Road, which is about half way between Griffis Fish Camp and Fargo Boat Ramp.

For the resolution supporting the Okefenokee Swamp and the Suwannee River against the proposed strip mine, the Commissioners chose to take another month to read it thoroughly, with a vote next month, which should be 6PM, Monday, September 4, 2023. The resolutions already passed by other cities and counties, including the one passed last week by Echols County, are on the WWALS website. For more about that mine, see
https://wwals.net/issues/titanium-mining

Thanks to Chairman Henry Moylan and the Commissioners for their hospitality, to Clinch County Administrator Jaclyn James for ongoing communications, and to WWALS member Etta Lee for talking to Commissioners and for being at the meeting; also for dinner.

Below are pictures, videos by Lowndes Area Knowledge Exchange of the relevant agenda item, and links to documents.

Here is a WWALS video playlist of the relevant LAKE videos.

For the entire meeting, see the LAKE blog post, Videos: Boat Ramps, Okefenokee Swamp, LMIG, Taxes @ Clinch County Commission 2023-08-07.

Continue reading

Another reason to reject TiO2 strip mine near the Okefenokee Swamp: food coloring health issues 2023-06-02

If white paint wasn’t a bad enough reason for a strip mine too near the Okefenokee Swamp, how about food coloring linked to serious health issues?

“Research shows the chemical [titanium dioxide] is likely a neurotoxin and immunotoxin, and can damage the reproductive system, cause birth defects and damage genes.”

[Skittles, TiO2 dragline]
Skittles, TiO2 dragline

Remember: Twin Pines Minerals is proposing to mine titanium dioxide, not titanium metal. And the Okefenokee Swamp is the headwaters of the Suwannee and St. Marys Rivers, exchanging surface water with groundwater down to the Floridan Aquifer, from which we all drink in south Georgia and north Florida.

For ways you can object to the permits for that strip mine, currently before the Georgia Environmental Protection Division (GA-EPD), or to support a bill that would prevent it expanding, see:
https://wwals.net/issues/titanium-mining/

Tom Perkins, The Guardian, June 2, 2023, Health advocates urge US regulators to ban common food coloring additive: Titanium dioxide, found in candy, meat substitutes and packaged cookies, has been linked to a range of serious health issues,

Public health advocates say a common color enhancer added to thousands of US foods is toxic and dangerous, and have formally petitioned federal regulators to ban the chemical’s use.

Though the compound, titanium dioxide, has been widely used for decades and is found in foods like M&Ms, Skittles, Beyond Meat plant-based chicken tenders and Chips Ahoy! cookies, recent science has shown it is also linked to a range of serious health issues and accumulates in the body and organs.

Continue reading

Please stop a strip mine near the Okefenokee Swamp that threatens both Florida and Georgia –Waterkeepers Florida

Update 2023-03-20: All nine Riverkeepers of Georgia oppose the mining permit applications by Twin Pines Minerals too near the Okefenokee Swamp 2023-03-09
Also, you can still send a comment to TwinPines.Comment@dnr.ga.gov.

Waterkeepers Florida, representing all fifteen Waterkeepers of Florida, opposes a titanium dioxide strip mine too near the Okefenokee Swamp, in a letter to Georgia Governor Brian Kemp Friday.

You can still comment to the Georgia Environmental Protection Division by 4:30 PM, Monday, March 20th, and ask Georgia legislators to pass bills protecting the Okefenokee Swamp, the Suwannee and St. Marys Rivers, and the Floridan Aquifer.

[Support the Okefenokee Swamp, not a strip mine --Waterkeepers Florida 2023-03-17]
Support the Okefenokee Swamp, not a strip mine –Waterkeepers Florida 2023-03-17


March 17, 2023

[Logo of Waterkeepers Florida]

Governor Brian Kemp
206 Washington Street
Suite 203 State Capitol
Atlanta, GA 30334
Delivered via email to: brian.kemp@georgia.gov

Re: Please stop a strip mine near the Okefenokee Swamp that threatens both Florida and Georgia

Dear Governor Kemp and staff,

In support of our fellow Waterkeepers’ missions to protect the St. Marys River and the Suwannee River, we, Members of Waterkeepers Florida, are again expressing serious concerns regarding the activities the proposed Twin Pines Minerals, LLC (TPM) application number SAS-2018-00554-SP-HAR will have on the Okefenokee Swamp, its river systems, and the Floridan Aquifer. Waterkeepers Florida is a regional entity composed of all 15 Waterkeeper organizations working in the State of Florida to protect and restore our water resources across over 50,000 square miles of watershed, which is home to over 15 million Floridians.

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