Following is the recent letter which John Quarterman and other river/water keepers in Georgia and Florida sent to the governor of Georgia asking to stop the proposed mine near the Okefenokee Swamp. This mine company has shown a lack of competence and preparation for mining and is already operating in Florida, where they have a terrible track record of infractions and rule-breaking.
Their Florida operations have the potential to pollute the Santa Fe River, since part of their drainage goes into the upper reaches of the Santa Fe.
Go to the WWALS site to see more.
OSFR is grateful to WWALS and the river keepers for generating this letter.
Comments by OSFR historian Jim Tatum.
– A river is like a life: once taken,
it cannot be brought back © Jim Tatum
You, too, can do what all the Waterkeepers of Florida did, and ask the Governor of Georgia and other elected officials to stop that mine too near the Okefenokee:
And you can ask the runoff candidates for Senate and Public Service Commission, what’s your position on that mine and the Swamp? https://wwals.net/?p=54359
To: Governor Brian Kemp
206 Washington Street
Suite 203 State Capitol
Atlanta, GA 30334
Cc: Trey Kilpatrick, Chief of Staff
Caylee Noggle, Deputy Chief of Staff, Operations
Bert Brantley, Deputy Chief of Staff, External Affairs
Re: Please stop a strip mine near the Okefenokee Swamp that threatens both Florida and Georgia (PDF)
Dear Governor Kemp and staff,
On behalf of our respective organizations and our thousands of members, we are writing to express our concerns regarding the Twin Pines Minerals, LLC application number SAS-2018-00554-SP-HAR. Waterkeepers Florida is a regional entity composed of all 14 Waterkeeper organizations working in the State of Florida to protect and restore our water resources across over 45,000 square miles of watershed, which is home to over 15 million Floridians.
Georgia is all that stands between that titanium strip mine within a few miles of the Okefenokee Swamp, proposed by coal miners from Alabama. Part of the Okefenokee Swamp is in Florida, and the Swamp is the headwaters of both the St. Marys River, which forms part of the border between Georgia and Florida, and of the Suwannee River, which flows through Florida to the Gulf of Mexico. Thus if the mining activities of the applicant affect the Okefenokee, or the underlying Floridan Aquifer, they may affect the quality of the waters of the state of Florida. In addition, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge promises more economic benefit to Florida than any other NWR. https://tinyurl.com/y5dws8oa
Please direct the Georgia Department of Natural Resources to thoroughly examine the five state permit applications from Twin Pines Minerals, LLC (TPM). https://wwals.net/?p=54009 The evidence indicates DNR should reject those applications. At the least, an environmental review equivalent to an Environmental Impact Statement should be conducted, with public hearings and third-party review.
The 60,000 people who wrote to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers against that mine are still opposed, despite the Corps abdicating its oversight. https://wwals.net/?p=53867
For many reasons to reject permits for this mine, see the resolution Waterkeepers Florida passed in October 2019. https://wwals.net/?p=50562
Since that resolution, even more reasons to reject that mine have been revealed. For example, the president of the mining applicant company was also a proponent of a biomass plant in Franklin County, Georgia, that caused a massive fish kill, and so much air pollution that the state of Georgia had to pass a law to stop it from burning railroad ties. For more on that and other examples, see the letter to you by our member Suwannee Riverkeeper of November 30, 2020. https://wwals.net/?p=54187
St. Johns Riverkeeper
Board Chair of Waterkeepers Florida
Jen Lomberk, Esq.
Lake Worth Waterkeeper
St. Marys Riverkeeper
Tampa Bay Waterkeeper
John S. Quarterman
Justin Bloom, Esq.
Collier County Waterkeeper
-jsq, John S. Quarterman, Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®
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