Virtual town halls on Okefenokee titanium mine set for Tuesday and Thursday

Credit: Charles Seabrook

Credit: Charles Seabrook

Public can comment on controversial plans to mine near South Georgia swamp at two online forums

The Georgia Environmental Protection Division is scheduled to hold two virtual public comment sessions this week on a draft plan submitted by Alabama-based Twin Pines Minerals to mine for titanium next to the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge in South Georgia.

The proposed mined has drawn pushback from conservationists and some legislators who worry about the environmental impact to the largest blackwater swamp in North America. Twin Pines says the company will create jobs and will not harm the swamp.

A bipartisan group of state House lawmakers has filed legislation seeking to protect the swamp, a biologically diverse ecosystem that is home to thousands of species and also contains millions of tons of carbon-rich peat. Peatlands are considered an important carbon sink, preventing the release of planet-warming greenhouse gases.

Two public comment webinars on the draft plans are scheduled for Tuesday, Feb. 21 at 6 p.m. and Thursday, Feb. 23 at 6 p.m. Participants must register ahead of time here. Copies of the relevant plans and other documents can be found here.

Previous coverage

Catch up on the AJC’s coverage of this important issue and what scientists and public officials have said about the proposed mine here:

Draft plans released for controversial Okefenokee titanium mine

Bipartisan bill aims to protect Okefenokee Swamp from titanium mining

Okefenokee mine back on track with legal settlement, company says

U.S. Army Corps sued over controversial Okefenokee mining project