On Thursday, Aug. 15, I attended the Charlton County Board of Commissioners meeting. The standing-room-only audience knew that they planned to vote on an oddly premature “proclamation of support” for the Twin Pines, LLC, 12,000-acre titanium mining project less than four miles from the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge.

The commissioners proceeded quickly through the agenda and voted unanimously to approve the proclamation. There was no discussion about it.

The audience members then sat through the entire meeting, waiting for the public comment period — only to be informed, when the time came, that no one from outside Charlton County was allowed to speak.

We’ve seen no hydrological studies. They’ve performed no research regarding the potentially devastating impacts on the nearby hunt clubs and hunters that rely on the swamp for their income. No studies have been done about the impacts on tourism. In fact, Twin Pines offers (in their videotaped words) “no guarantees” that their operation will not negatively and permanently impact the Okefenokee Swamp and the rivers and people that depend upon it.

It is imperative that the United States Army Corp of Engineers hear from the public. We must urge them to require a thorough Environmental Impact Statement before the Twin Pines, LLC project proceeds. Your voices are needed now.

Please email holly.a.ross@usace.army.mil and make sure that you refer to the applicant’s name and the application number in your subject line and/or comments: Twin Pines Minerals, LLC, 2100 Southbridge Parkway, Birmingham, Ala. 35209, Application Number: SAS-2018-00554.

Alex Kearns

St. Marys

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