"Okefenokee Titanium Mine Fight Escalates With Interior Move"

"Interior Secretary Deb Haaland’s implicit threat of legal action against a proposed titanium dioxide mine on the flanks of Georgia’s Okefenokee Swamp raises unresolved questions about the scope of the agency’s authority to protect public lands outside their boundaries, legal experts say.

Haaland wrote a November letter, made public this week, to Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R) urging the state to avoid permitting Twin Pines Metals LLC’s proposed mine near Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge in southern Georgia.

The mine is planned for a site about three miles outside the refuge on a low ridge that helps to contain the Okefenokee Swamp. The Okefenokee is North America’s largest blackwater swamp and is considered one of the East Coast’s most biologically diverse wild places.

“The Department will exercise its own authorities to protect the swamp ecosystem and will continue to urge our state and federal partners to take steps under their own authorities to do the same,” Haaland wrote in the Nov. 22 letter."

Bobby Magill reports for Bloomberg Environment December 8, 2022.

Source: Bloomberg Environment, 12/09/2022