Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge's Journal

Journal archives for May 2020

May 16, 2020

Okefenokee mining proposal hearing frustrates participants

Updated 7:26 am CDT, Friday, May 15, 2020
Mixons Hammock canoe kayak trail, Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge, Georgia
© Photographer: William Wise | Agency: Dreamstime.com
SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) — A company looking to mine minerals near the wildlife refuge in the Okefenokee Swamp was accused of sidestepping the environmental impacts of the project during an online hearing. According to the Brunswick News, the nearly two-hour virtual presentation by Twin Pines Minerals on Wednesday ended after people in the online chat room accused company officials of “running out the clock” and “stonewalling” the hearing.

The company is seeking a permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to mine 898 acres (3.6 square kilometers) at the edge of the Okefenokee swamp for titanium dioxide, a plan critics warn will cause irreparable harm to the swamp’s ecosystem and alter its water levels.

Six people in the hearing still went on to ask the Army Corps to deny the proposal. Chadd Charland, one of the nearly 400 people in attendance at the online hearing, said the “baloney” presentation assured him that Twin Pines cannot “mine the area in an environmentally sensitive fashion.” Another participant, Daniel Parshley, questioned why the hearing seemed like a titanium marketing presentation.

“The Corps provided an opportunity for the public to weigh in on the mining project and then Twin Pines took that opportunity away by slow-walking their presentations,” said Bill Sapp, a senior attorney with the Southern Environmental Law Center.

The proposal was updated in March following the company’s original proposal that called for 1,450 acres (5.87 square kilometers) of mining space near the refuge site.

The swamp is home to the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge, the largest federally protected refuge east of the Mississippi River.

Posted on May 16, 2020 05:01 PM by williamwisephoto williamwisephoto | 0 comments | Leave a comment