Agency says mining near Okefenokee poses ‘substantial risks’

SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) — The federal agency that manages the vast wildlife refuge in the Okefenokee Swamp says a private company’s plan to mine minerals near the swamp edge could pose “substantial risks” to the environment.

The written comments from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service were provided Friday to The Associated Press. The document was written in February after Alabama-based Twin Pines Minerals LCC submitted its proposal for mining titanium dioxide less than 4 miles (6.4 kilometers) from the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge.

The government publicly announced last week that the company is seeking permits to mine near the Georgia-Florida state line.

The Fish and Wildlife document says some impacts to the swamp could be irreversible.

Public controversy 20 years ago caused chemical giant DuPont to abandon a similar mining plan.

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