Tag Archives: Twin Pines Minerals

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 2022-10-06: 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

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

GA-EPD will wait for Army Corps to decide on Twin Pines mine application near Okefenokee Swamp 2022-06-07

A few days after the U.S. Army Corps resumed oversight over the Twin Pines Minerals strip mine site far too close to the Okefenokee Swamp, the Georgia Environmental Protection Division washed its hands of that hot potato until the Corps make some decisions.

[Two pages]
Two pages

Since Twin Pines sued the Army Corps instead of re-applying, a Corps decision could take quite some time.

GA-EPD, June 7, 2022, Twin Pines Minerals Permitting Update, June 7, 2022, 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

Mine faces roadblock at Okefenokee Swamp –Camden County Tribune & Georgian 2022-06-09

Dave Williams, Capitol Beat News Service, in Tribune & Georgian (Serving CAMDEN County, Georgia Since 1894), Mine faces roadblock at Okefenokee Swamp,

[Article]
Article

ATLANTA—The Alabama company looking to open a titanium mine near the Okefenokee Swamp is being confronted with an additional hurdle.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has Continue reading

Support Georgia HB 1289 to protect the Okefenokee Swamp 2022-02-24

Please ask Georgia legislators to pass HB 1289 against mining near the Okefenokee Swamp. Twin Pines Minerals, LLC, an Alabama-based company operated by people with a history of misrepresentation and pollution, is proposing a mining operation that threatens the Okefenokee Swamp and tourism-related jobs in the area, as well as the Floridan Aquifer and the Suwannee and St. Marys Rivers.

[Otter, Okefenokee Swamp, 2019-12-07. Photo: Gretchen Quarterman]
Otter, Okefenokee Swamp, 2019-12-07. Photo: Gretchen Quarterman

Floridians, you can do these things, too. The Swamp is upstream from Florida, both aboveground and through the Floridan Aquifer. You can call these Georgia legislators using the numbers in here: House and Senate.

For what’s in the bill and some other ways you can stop such mines, see Continue reading

Georgia Okefenokee protection bill HB 1289 filed on Okefenokee Swamp Day 2022-02-08

On newly-proclaimed Okefenokee Swamp Day, a bipartisan bill to ban mining on Trail Ridge by the Okefenokee Swamp appeared in the Georgia legislature: HB 1289.

[Bill, Proclamation, Trail Ridge]
Bill, Proclamation, Trail Ridge

What You Can Do

You can ask Georgia Governor Kemp to get the Georgia Environmental Protection Division (GA-EPD) to deny the permit request from Twin Pines Minerals, LLC, for a titanium dioxide strip mine within three miles of the Okefenokee Swamp, which is the headwaters of the St. Marys and Suwannee Rivers. Or ask your city or county government to pass a resolution supporting the Swamp and opposing the mine, as half a dozen have already done.

Or write directly to GA-EPD: TwinPines.Comment@dnr.ga.gov

Or use this convenient Georgia Water Coalition action alert form to ask your statehouse delegation to pass HB 1289 and to ask GA-EPD to deny the permits.

Why

Continue reading

More than 40 scientists oppose strip mine near Okefenokee Swamp 2021-11-30

Dozens of scientists across the U.S. have written a letter spelling out dangers of strip mining near the Okefenokee Swamp.

They couldn’t cover everything, but they found scientific evidence running from habitat loss, fire risk, and lowering the Floridan Aquifer, to dark skies, tourism, and economy, including: “Mining will impact the water quality of the Okefenokee Swamp and downstream rivers, including the St Mary’s and Suwannee Rivers, through release of stored chemicals, including toxic heavy metals.”

You can mention the scientists’ letter when you ask the Georgia Environmental Protection Division to deny the miners’ permit applications.

[Heavy Mineral Mining In The Atlantic Coastal Plain-0006]
The mine site is labeled Saunders Tract in the middle of this map. See Figure 5.

The situation is no different from when DuPont tried to mine next to the Swamp twenty years ago. As Gordon Jackson points out in The Brunswick News (December 9, 2021), “The argument two decades ago and today is there has never been a comprehensive study to show how much of an impact, if any, disturbing the layered soil would have on the refuge.”

Naturally, the miners disagreed, according to Emily Jones for WABE (December 1, 2021): Continue reading

Supreme Court ruling on underground water could affect proposed titanium strip mine too near the Okefenokee Swamp

Here’s yet another reason you can cite when you ask the Georgia Enviromental Protection Division (GA-EPD) to stop the mining proposal by Twin Pines Minerals (TPM) to strip mine near the Okefenokee Swamp, above the Floridan Aquifer.

David Pendered, Saporta Report, January 3, 2022 5:13 pm, Okefenokee Swamp mining proposal could be affected by Supreme Court ruling,

The proposal to mine sand near the Okefenokee Swamp could be affected by a groundbreaking ruling on water rights issued by the U.S. Supreme Court.

[Figure 8. Drawdown 2930 days]
Figure 8. Drawdown 2930 days

For the first time, justices have determined the same laws that apply to water flowing above ground apply to water in multi-state underground aquifers.

“This court has never before held that an interstate aquifer is subject to equitable apportionment,” Chief Justice John Roberts wrote in a unanimous opinion issued Nov. 22, 2021. This doctrine “aims to produce a fair allocation of a shared water resource between two or more States,” according to the ruling.

The ruling sets a legal foundation to manage future disputes over the usage of interstate groundwater. This issue is expected to arise more frequently as drought and climate change poise to alter the United States’ traditional water supplies and challenge agreements among governments to share water.

This ruling could be brought into play at the proposed mine near the Okefenokee, in part because of the amount of water to be extracted for mining operations from the four-state Floridan Aquifer. For that to happen, a party that has standing to file a lawsuit would have to do so on behalf of one or more of the four states that are above the Floridan Aquifer — Florida, Alabama, Georgia and South Carolina. Two of these states have previously litigated Georgia’s use of water from the Chattahoochee and Flint rivers. The Supreme Court ruled against Florida’s claim in April.

Continue reading