Regulators move mine plan near Okefenokee a big step forward

SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) — A company’s plan to mine minerals just outside the famed Okefenokee Swamp and its federally protected wildlife refuge is a big step closer to being approved by regulators in Georgia. The state’s Environmental Protection Division released a draft plan Thursday for how Twin Pines Minerals would operate its proposed mine and mitigate potential impacts to the swamp. The move triggers a 60-day public comment period required before the Georgia agency can approve the plan. Some scientists have warned that mining titanium dioxide less than 3 miles from the Okefenokee’s bowl-like rim could harm the swamp’s ability to hold water. The draft documents say regulators believe the swamp’s water levels would be be “minimally impacted.”