Did you know Moody Air Force Base had two sewage spills this month? Thanks to GA-EPD, we knew about them, and Moody AFB posted news reports on both of them. One went into Mission Lake, upstream from Grand Bay and the Alapaha River. The other went into Beatty Branch, upstream from Cat Creek and the Withlacoochee River.
“Because of the coal plants in Georgia, there’s mercury deposition on the surface of the ground for years. If they go stir all that up, that could run in to the swamp,” said Suwannee Riverkeeper John Quarterman. “Why should we risk the Okefenokee, its boating, its fishing, its birding.”
Quoted by a reporter based in Valdosta, GA for WCTV in Tallahassee, FL, Emma Wheeler, WCTV, 21 August 2019, Heavy mining facility proposed near Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge,
…Last week the Charlton County Board of Commissioners passed a resolution of support for the project. County officials said the reason is because Charlton County does not have many industry opportunities of its own, and many residents leave to surrounding counties for work. officials said the 150 jobs created from the project could be beneficial to the county.
The Okefenokee Swamp is the headwater for the Suwannee River, which is why community members across the region are fighting the proposal, saying it could have consequences in both states.
In the proposal, the Continue reading
Causing outrage from the packed house, the Charlton County Commission refused Thursday to let anyone speak who did not live in the county or own land there. This was after the Commission unanimously passed a resolution supporting the proposed titanium mine, without any public hearing and with citizens at all permitted to speak beforehand. The resolution apparently says it depends on the miners getting permits, and Charlton County does not decide on those permits. The opposition is now even more determined to stop those permits by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) and the state of Georgia. You, too, can comment to USACE and GA-EPD by the current deadline of September 12, 2019.
Photo: John S. Quarterman, before 2019-08-13 TPM meeting. L-r: Mark Lyons of Citizens Against Phosphate Mining, Alice Keyes of One Hundred Miles, Hilda Gilchrist of Our Santa Fe River (OSFR), Jim Tatum of OSFR and WWALS, Rena Peck Stricker of Georgia River Network, Mike Roth and Kristin Rubin of OSFR and WWALS, John S. Quarterman, Suwannee Riverkeeper, Merillee Malwitz-Jipson of OSFR and WWALS.
The Charlton County Commission’s public speaking rule is indeed new, since the previous month Continue reading
Sent just now:
August 15, 2019
To:James E Everett, Chairman, email@example.com
Alphya Benefield, Vice Chair, firstname.lastname@example.org
Hampton Raulerson, County Administrator, email@example.com
Jenifer Nobles, County Clerk, firstname.lastname@example.org
Re: Applicant: Twin Pines Minerals, LLC, USACE Application: SAS-2018-00554
Dear Chairman, Vice Chairman, and Staff,
Thank you for your hospitality at your July Regular Session. Especially thanks to the County Clerk for letting me back in to get my hat, and to the County Administrator for coming to St. George Tuesday to find a spot in the shade. Please distribute this letter to the rest of the Commissioners.
On your agenda for tonight is a resolution in support of the titanium mine proposed by Twin Pines Minerals (TPM). While I understand everyone wants jobs, I respectfully submit that far too many things are still unknown, so the time is premature for the Commission to support or oppose this proposed mine.
Please note that the jobs numbers given by the miners have varied quite a bit, and Continue reading
A resolution supporting the TPM mine is on the agenda for the Charlton County Commission meeting, 6PM this Thursday, August 15, 2019, 68 Kingsland Drive, Folkston, GA. Especially if you live in Charlston County, please go to that meeting and object. Even better, contact your County Commissioner before the meeting.
Suwannee Riverkeeper op-ed in the Charlton County Herald, yesterday, August 13, 2019:
Swamp more important than miners under Consent Order in Florida
Twin Pines Minerals (TPM) promises jobs, taxes, and low impact to mine for titanium between Moniac and St. George, on property that extends up to the Okefenokee NWR.
People from Baker, Bradford, and Union Counties, Florida, say they don’t know any locals who have the mine jobs promised by Chemours. The TPM application for Charlton County promises Continue reading
Twin Pines Minerals (TPM) is cited in a consent order on Chemours mines, for failure to collect data, spilling waste through silt fences and not cleaning it up, and being out of compliance on numerous counts, including radium and iron, in the Suwannee, St. Johns, and St. Mary’s River basins in Florida.
This is the same TPM that has applied to mine titanium in Charlton County, Georgia, near the Okefenokee Swamp, which is the headwaters of the Suwannee and St. Mary’s Rivers.
Please bring pictures (not costumes) and stories of people to the miners meetings this week in Charlton County, Georgia, about the proposed Twin Pines Minerals titanium mine southeast of the Okefenokee Swamp on Trail Ridge.
Here are some types of pictures that would be good:
- People fishing, paddling, hiking, birding.
- People holding binoculars and gazing through high-powered spotting scopes and telephone lenses.
- People just looking at gorgeous landscapes of swamps and trees and animals: cypress, longleaf, gators, bitterns, sand hill cranes, gophers, bears, and all the others.
- People hunting the waterfowl that fly from their Okefenokee habitat to hunting seasons elsewhere.
- All the types of folks who make up the hundreds of thousands who visit the swamp or benefit from it every year, spending the million of dollars and generating the tens of millions of economic effects every year, in a stable and economic fashion.
Bring pictures of other titanium mines and the areas surrounding them to show what this area and around it would look like with such extractive misuse.
No costumes, just pictures, signs, stories, and handouts.
A few people are proposing this mine to extract profit at everyone else’s expense, threatening all those things people care about in the swamp and the rivers.
Many people involved all these ways with the Okefenokee and the rivers can stop the mine. Continue reading
Update 2019-08-11: What to bring: pictures and signs (not costumes).
Come early to see the animals assembling on the sidewalk before the miners’ public meetings Tuesday and Wednesday in Folkston and St. George, Georgia. Think of it as Early Okefenokee Halloween!
You can bring an animal
costume picture and help oppose the mine,
also by distributing information outside and asking questions inside.
There will be reporters from near and far.
Locals especially please come to the Charlton County Commission meeting Thursday, but no demonstration there, please, just listen and speak. Continue reading
On the calendar for the Southern Georgia Regional Commission (SGRC), Charlton County Comprehensive Plan Update Workshop:
When: Tue, August 27, 10:30am – 12:30pm
Where: 68 Kingsland Dr. Suite B Folkston, GA (map)
Description: First Workshop to discuss Goals, Issues, and Opportunities.
Currently, the only mention of mining in the 2015 Joint Charlton County Comprehensive Plan Update for Charlton County and The Cities of Folkston and Homeland Adopted 4/23/2015, is on page 8 (emphasis added): Continue reading
Mindy Morris, Tribune & Georgian, July 18, 2019, Strip mine proposed near Okefenokee wildlife refuge,
It’s not the first time Okefenokee swamp became the pointed interest of a mining operation. DuPont Co, attempted in the 1990s and agreed to end their plan after a roughly $90 million deal. That deal was supposed to protect from future mining. Less than 20 years later, Twin Peaks [Pines] Minerals is proposing a strip mine.Continue reading