Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Florida border mining project set to get underway after Trump administration regulation rollback

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A mining company announced on Tuesday its plans for a project that would dig for minerals at the edge of the Okefenokee Swamp on the Florida border, following the rollback of previous environmental regulations by the Trump administration

Twin Pines Minerals had been seeking a permit to carry out the project for over a year, due to the site’s close proximity to a large U.S. wildlife refuge, according to The Orlando Sentinel. 

The swamp straddles the state border between Florida and Georgia. 

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The Army Corps of Engineers, which was reportedly processing the permit request, claimed the wetlands that would be impacted by the digging are no longer considered to be federally protected, after revisions from the White House that were instituted in June. 

Twin Pines President Steve Ingle said in a statement to The Sentinel that the operation will move forward and will not harm the surrounding land or area. 

“Because waters of the United States will not be affected,” he said, “no federal permits will be required.”

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Jason O’Kane, regulatory chief for the Army Corps’ Savannah District added, “This property now has a large, contiguous, mineable area in the center of it because those wetlands have now been removed from our jurisdiction.” 

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