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Why This Matters: The president of Twin Pines claims that the mining operation won’t affect the swamp — but now we will just have to take their word for it since it won’t have to go through federal permitting. Environmentalists fear that the mine would harm the swamp’s ability to store water, damage its habitats, and increase the risk of wildfires. The swamp is about half the size of Rhode Island — but is not covered by the Clean Water Act as it has been interpreted by the Trump administration. This is a painful illustration of the devastating effects of the Trump environmental rollbacks.
The Dire Consequences of Mining
“The only data, anywhere, to suggest that mining would prove benign was that commissioned by Twin Pines itself,” Christian Hunt, the Southeast Program Representative with Defenders of Wildlife, told The Hill. “I can go through a whole litany of threats to the hydrology, to nature,” Rena Peck, executive director of the Georgia River Network, told NPR. The threats include: pollution in streams, lower water levels in the swamp and light pollution that would seep into the refuge. The swamp also has deep cultural significance for the Muscogee (Creek) Nation, who were forcibly removed from the area in the 19th century. The Muscogee gave Okefenokee its name, which is said to mean “bubbling water.”
But the potential benefits of mining do not outweigh the costs. Teresa Crawford, who grew up near the swamp and testified for the county commission in August, told NPR: “The Okefenokee swamp is just a treasure. We can’t make a new one. And if it’s destroyed, I mean, it’s gone forever.”
The U.S. Air Force has finally learned enough information to begin cleaning up a jet fuel leak from Albuquerque’s drinking water supply. The Kirtland Air Force Base plans to write and submit a report to the New Mexico Environmental Department before the agency can approve and make recommendations for cleanup. This comes as a relief […]
by Jessica Grannis We’re in the dog days of summer now, and lots of folks are headed to the beach to make up for lost time since the pandemic began. My favorite part of traveling to the coast from DC is watching my surroundings slowly turn from urban areas to the forests of the coastal […]
By Ashira Morris, ODP Staff Writer The West is currently in the middle of a severe drought, and Lake Powell, the region’s second-largest reservoir, is at its lowest level in decades. The lake, located on the Colorado River, is effectively a human-made storage basin that keeps the regional water supply in balance under the 100-year-old […]
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