"SAVANNAH, Ga. — A federal agency has delivered a big setback to a company’s controversial plan to mine near the edge of the Okefenokee Swamp and its vast wildlife refuge.
A government memo said Friday that the Army Corps of Engineers is reasserting jurisdiction over Twin Pines Minerals’ proposal to mine minerals just outside the Okefenokee, home to the largest U.S. wildlife refuge east of the Mississippi River.
Scientists have warned that mining close to the swamp’s bowl-like rim could damage its ability to hold water. They urged the Army Corps of Engineers to deny the project a permit. But the agency declared in 2020 it no longer had that authority after regulatory rollbacks under then-President Donald Trump narrowed the types of waterways qualifying for protection under the Clean Water Act.
Trump’s rollbacks were later scrapped by federal courts. President Joe Biden’s administration has sought to restore federal oversight of development projects that under Trump had been allowed to sidestep regulations to prevent pollution of streams or draining of wetlands."