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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.”
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By Elizabeth Love, ODP Contributing Writer Authorities in the Canadian Arctic territory Nunavut, announced a state of emergency this week due to a possible contamination event affecting the City of Iqaluit’s water supply. Tests were performed after residents reported the smell of gasoline coming from their tap water, but they came back clean. However, […]
By Ashira Morris, ODP Staff Writer For 40 million people living in the Western US, the Colorado River basin is their source of water supply and last month, the federal government declared a water shortage on the river for the first time. Within the basin, Thirty Native tribes have recognized rights to more than one-fifth […]
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