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“Trump Environmental Rollback Spurs Mining Near Okefenokee”

“SAVANNAH, Ga. — A mining company said Tuesday that it plans to dig for minerals without a federal permit at the edge of the vast wildlife refuge in the Okefenokee Swamp, a big step for a once-embattled project that’s now benefiting from the Trump administration’s rollback of environmental rules.

For more than a year, Twin Pines Minerals pursued a permit under the federal Clean Water Act to mine less than 4 miles (6.4 kilometers) from the home of the largest U.S. wildlife refuge east of the Mississippi River. Conservationists worry mining could cause irreparable harm to a fragile ecosystem that serves as a habitat for alligators, bald eagles and other protected species.

The Army Corps of Engineers, the agency handling the permit request, recently concluded most of the wetlands that would be drained or otherwise affected by the proposed mine are no longer protected under federal rules recently revised at the direction of the White House.”

Russ Bynum reports for the Associated Press October 20, 2020.