Tag Archives: TPM

Hamilton County, Florida, resolution for the Okefenokee Swamp, against the strip mine 2024-02-20

County opposition to the proposed strip mine too near the Okefenokee Swamp has crossed the GA-FL line.

The Board of County Commissioners of Hamilton County, Florida, on February 20, 2024, passed this resolution. A signed copy is forthcoming.

[Hamilton County, Florida, resolution for the Okefenokee Swamp, against the strip mine 2024-02-20]
Hamilton County, Florida, resolution for the Okefenokee Swamp, against the strip mine 2024-02-20

That makes four counties on the Suwannee River downstream of the Okefenokee Swamp: Ware, Clinch, Echols, and Hamilton.

Plus many other counties and cities.
https://wwals.net/2021/12/10/resolutions-for-okefenokee-swamp-against-strip-mine-suwannee-riverkeeper-sgrc-2021-12-09/

Resolution 2024-

A Resolution for the Okefenokee Swamp and Environmental Conservation
by the Board of County Commissioners, Hamilton County, Florida

WHEREAS, Continue reading

Okefenokee bills, Georgia legislature 2024-02-21

As crossover day approaches in the Georgia legislature, events are moving faster about the proposed strip mine too near the Okefenokee Swamp.

In addition to a mining prohibition bill that has been in the legislature since last year, now there is a fine, draft permits, and two new bills, for increased criminal penalties, and for a mining moratorium (with a big catch).

None of these are likely to stop this specific “demonstration” mine, but some of them could prevent any further such mines.

Crossover day is the day by which a bill has to have been passed by one house to get into the other house. It’s February 29 this year, Thursday of next week.

[Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge: 15 miles]
Okefenokee NationaGl Wildlife Refuge: 15 miles
Map courtesy Prof. Can Denizman and students, Valdosta State University.

Draft Permits

As previously mentioned, On February 9, 2024, GA-EPD published draft permits (surface mining, water withdrawal, and air quality). for the applications by Twin Pines Minerals, LLC (TPM) to strip mine for titanium dioxide (TiO2) within three miles of the Okefenokee Swamp, between Moniac and St. George, Georgia. You have until April 9 to comment, and there is a public online meeting on March 5.

Details here:
https://wwals.net/?p=64142

Consent Orders

Back in January, I was told by a former state legislator that these miners be very careful to avoid infractions, because they had a lot of money riding on their venture. A week later, the Georgia Environmental Protection Division (GA-EPD) issued a Consent Order on TPM, saying back in 2018 the miners had drilled soil samples without a professional geologist or engineer supervising, as required by state law, and they also failed to provide a letter of credit or a performance bond. TPM “voluntarily” agreed to pay a tiny fine of $20,000. For more details, see Russ Bynum, AP, 24 January 2024, Company seeking to mine near Okefenokee will pay $20,000 to settle environmental violation claims.

This is not the first time TPM has been under a Consent Order. Continue reading

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

Berrien County, GA, Okefenokee resolution against the proposed strip mine

Thanks to the Berrien County Board of Commissioners for passing a resolution supporting the Okefenokee Swamp and opposing the strip mine for titanium dioxide proposed by Twin Pines Minerals, LLC.

Please contact your Georgia statehouse members and ask them to protect the Okefenokee Swamp:
https://www.gawater.org/okefenokee-swamp

Ask your Georgia state Senator to sponsor a bill in the Senate:
https://wwals.net/about/elected-officials/georgia-senate/

Floridians, please ask your Georgia friends and relatives to do this.

[Berrien County Resolution No: 24-002 2024-02-06]
Berrien County Resolution No: 24-002 2024-02-06

See also the other resolutions so far.

More about this issue:
https://wwals.net/issues/titanium-mining

The Berrien County Resolution

See also PDF. Continue reading

Nashville, Georgia, resolution opposing strip mining in or near the Okefenokee Swamp

Thank you, Nashville, Georgia, Mayor and Council, for passing a resolution supporting the Okefenokee Swamp against the proposed strip mine.

[City of Nashville Resolution and Okefenokee NWR sign]
City of Nashville Resolution and Okefenokee NWR sign

For the increasing number of these resolutions, see:
https://wwals.net/?p=57248

Please ask your Georgia statehouse members to pass HB 71. Floridians, ask your friends and relatives in Georgia to do that. And ask your city or county in Florida to also pass a resolution.

For more about this issue, see:
https://wwals.net/issues/titanium-mining/

The resolution

Continue reading

Winners: Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest 2023-09-22

Hahira, GA, September 25, 2023 — Hahira, Georgia, September 25, 2023 — Ten musicians wrote songs and seven sang them, about the delights of the waters of the Suwannee River Basin and the need to preserve them against numerous threats. Jane Fallon came all the way from Dunedin, Florida, to the Turner Arts Center in Valdosta, Georgia, to sing a story about legendary Sun Daughters reflecting on a proposed mine near the Okefenokee Swamp, the headwaters of the Suwannee River. The three judges marked her high on storytelling and presenting the value of the waters, on originality of lyrics and music, and on performance, with extra credit for naming waterways. She took home First Prize in the Sixth Annual Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest.

[Winners: Suwannee Riverkeeper; Cindy Bear and Franc Robert, Best Folk; Jane Fallon, First Prize; Bacon James, Best from Outside; Kyle Bird Chamberlain and David Rodock, tie for Best from Inside; Chamberlain, Best Blues; Rodock, Best AmeriKinda; Keven Stephenson, Best Country --Chuck Roberts]
Suwannee Riverkeeper with the Winners: Cindy Bear and Franc Robert, Best Folk; Jane Fallon, First Prize; Bacon James, Best from Outside; Kyle Bird Chamberlain and David Rodock, tie for Best from Inside; Chamberlain, Best Blues; Rodock, Best AmeriKinda; Kevin Stephenson, Best Country; and Robert Thatcher (not pictured). Photo: Chuck Roberts

Jane Fallon said, “Thank you for the honor in recognizing my song ‘Chant For The Okefenokee’ in your contest. It is always a special feeling to sing a song for an audience that truly understands its meaning. Thank you also for the work you do in trying to preserve the waterways. It is so important.”

Here is the first half of her lyrics: 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

Echols County Okefenokee Resolution 2023-08-03

Update 2023-08-10: Chainsaw cleanup, Outings, Boat Ramps, Okefenokee Swamp –Suwannee Riverkeeper @ Clinch County Commission 2023-08-07.

Thanks to the Echols County Commission for passing this resolution last Thursday, August 3, 2023.

[Suwannee River and Agenda, Echols County Commission 2023-08-03]
Suwannee River and Agenda, Echols County Commission 2023-08-03

And thanks to the Echols County citizens who asked the Commission to do that.


A Resolution for the Okefenokee Swamp and against the Twin Pines Minerals strip mine

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

Rivers and mining: WWALS comments on Suwannee-Satilla Draft Regional Water Plan 2023-05-15

Sent yesterday as PDF, in response to the invitation to comment and before the May 24, 2023 meeting in Tifton of the Georgia Suwannee-Satilla Regional Water Planning Council.

[The WWALS letter and rivers and mines in and near the Suwannee River Basin]
The WWALS letter and rivers and mines in and near the Suwannee River Basin

May 15, 2023

To: Water Planning

Georgia Department of Natural Resources
water.planning@dnr.ga.gov

RE: WWALS Comments on SSRWPC Draft Regional Water Plan

Dear DNR,

Responding to your invitation to comment on the draft Regional Water Plans, I write to mention some omissions in the Suwannee-Satilla Regional Draft Water Plan of March 2023.

Continue reading