Dear Editor,

The burden of proof is still on the miners to show their mine would not damage the Swamp or the Rivers, and they have not met that burden.

U.S. EPA still finds that “the proposed project will have a substantial and unacceptable impact on aquatic resources of national importance.”

That’s about “the permit application submitted by Twin Pines Minerals, LLC” for a titanium strip mine. “The proposed 2,414-acre mine area lies in proximity to the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge (NWR), and the potential secondary effects of the mine on the NWR have not been demonstrated by the permit applicant.”

This is the second letter EPA has sent to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers saying the mining application is deficient. We obtained a copy through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request. The entire letter is here: http://wwals.net/?p=50931.

You, too, can still comment to the USACE, and all comments they receive before the Corps announces a decision can be used in any potential lawsuits. The addresses are:

Commander, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Savannah District, Attention: Ms. Holly Ross, 1104 North Westover Boulevard, Suite 9, Albany, Georgia, 31707, or by email to holly.a.ross@usace.army.mil.

In your comments please refer to: Applicant: Twin Pines Minerals, LLC, Application Number: SAS-2018-00554.

For the requested state permit regarding Section 401 of the Clean Water Act, you can send a comment or request for public hearing to Stephen Wiedl, Wetlands Unit, stephen.wiedl@dnr.ga.gov.

Georgia Department of Natural Resources, Environmental Protection Division, Water Protection Branch, 7 Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive, Atlanta, Georgia 30334.

Or send a letter to this newspaper, or your local newspaper, helping to demonstrate widespread public opposition to this bad mining proposal.

Thanks to the more than two dozen organizations, local, regional, statewide in Florida and Georgia, national, and international, that oppose the titanium mine that would be far too close to the Okefenokee Swamp: Suwannee Riverkeeper, St. Marys Earthkeepers, Sierra Club, Defenders of Wildlife, Center for Biological Diversity, Southern Environmental Law Center (SELC), Georgia River Network, Georgia Conservancy, Environment Georgia, One Hundred Miles, Glynn Environmental Coalition, Georgia Women and those who stand with us, Friends of Georgia State Parks, Wayne Morgan Artistry, St. Marys Riverkeeper, Satilla Riverkeeper, Ogeechee Riverkeeper, Savannah Riverkeeper, Flint Riverkeeper, Upper Coosa Riverkeeper, Waterkeeper Alliance, Waterkeepers Florida, Our Santa Fe River, Dogwood Alliance, National Parks Conservation Association, National Wildlife Refuge Association, The Nature Conservancey, The Wilderness Society, Wilderness Watch, Waterkeeper Alliance, Georgia Water Coalition, Citizens Against Phosphate Mines (CAPM), and Southwings

Some, such as Waterkeepers Florida, represent others all over a state, and Waterkeeper Alliance has more than 350 member organizations worldwide. The Georgia Water Coalition (GWC) put the Okefenokee Swamp on its 2019 Dirty Dozen worst threats to Georgia’s waters because of this proposed mine, and GWC has more than 250 partner

John S. Quarterman, Suwannee Riverkeeper