Tag Archives: hydrogeology

Full page ad by titanium miners in Charlton County Herald 2019-09-25

It’s the miners who are proposing to risk the Okefenokee Swamp for their private profit, so it’s their job to provide proof, despite what the Twin Pines full page ad in the Charlton County Herald says. Alex Kearns has already made this point for St. Marys Earthkeepers in a letter to the editor. You can comment on the newspaper’s website on that one, or you can send one, too, to: editor@charltonherald.com.

[CharltonCounty-Herald 25Sept2019-0001]
CharltonCounty-Herald 25Sept2019-0001
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Yet in our Suwannee Riverkeeper comments to the Corps, we have provided quite a few studies that indicate the risk, including a Florida Consent Order against the same company for similar mines in Florida.

Where are these studies Twin Pines touts in the ad? They were not in Twin Pines’ mining application, as we and many others, including U.S. EPA and GA-EPD have pointed out. When will these miners’ studies be published?

The one Twin Pines hydrogeological study I have been able to find is in a different application that this miners’ ad doesn’t mention: for groundwater withdrawal and use. That study shows the 4.32 million gallons per day the miners’ want (more than twice all the current permitted water withdrawals in Charlton County) would lower the level of the Floridan Aquifer under the Swamp.

[Figure 8. Drawdown 2930 days]
Figure 8. Drawdown 2930 days

At the August 13, 2019 miners’ meeting in Folkston, GA, Steve Ingle claimed the mine would not affect the Floridan Aquifer, and the miners’ hydrologist Mark Tanner claimed there would be no cone of depression under the Swamp, both on video. This was two weeks after the same company had filed its withdrawal application with a hydrology report that clearly depicts a cone of depression extending under the Swamp. A report authored by the same two hydrologists who were at the August 13th meeting: Robert M. Holt and J. Mark Tanner.

The same miners’ hydrologists also repeatedly refused to guarantee there would be no effect on the Suwannee River, despite the ad’s claims of “100% certainty.”

Pretty much every other point in that ad is similarly easily rebuttable.

It’s curious they didn’t mention their biggest selling point: Continue reading

GA-EPD cites Suwannee Riverkeeper and US EPA against TPM titanium mine near Okefenokee Swamp 2019-09-12

GA-EPD told USACE the mining application is incomplete, asked for comments to be reopened, and cited Suwannee Riverkeeper and Georgia River Network:

“Understanding that groundwater hydrologic effects associated with the Twin Pines project have been a central concern expressed by federal resource/regulatory agencies, NGOs (e.g. the Suwannee Riverkeeper and Georgia River Network), and the public at large, we respectfully submit that the 404/401 permit application as submitted thus far is not complete since it lacks full information and findings regarding hydrogeologic factors on site and post-project effects to hydrogeology/groundwater. We feel that it is inappropriate and premature to close the project comment window when such notable elements of the environmental documentation for this project have not yet been made available. documentation which we at GaEPD judge to be important to our review of this project.”

[the 404/401 permit application as submitted thus far is not complete]
the 404/401 permit application as submitted thus far is not complete

This was revealed by USACE in a Public Notice of September 17, 2019. So far, this is the only update posted by the Corps since it closed comments on September 12, 2019.

It also includes comments by U.S. EPA, also saying the application is incomplete, and also cited by GA-EPD. EPA cites cumulative effects and notes numerous lacking documents and studies. EPA concludes:

“Due to the potential for the proposed Twin Pines Minerals mine to adversely affect the hydrology of the Okefenokee NWR, the EPA believes that there is the potential for this project as proposed to cause adverse effects to water quality and the life stages of aquatic life or other wildlife dependent on aquatic systems. The EPA finds that this project, as proposed, may result in substantial and unacceptable impacts to aquatic resources of national importance, as covered in Part IV. paragraph 3(a) of the August 1992 Memorandum of Agreement between the EPA and the Department of the Army regarding CWA Section 404(q).”

Apparently USACE is at least listening to the public and the public and NGOs such as Suwannee Riverkeeper.

You can still send in comments. The Corps won’t say they will read them, but they explicitly won’t say they won’t read them, so keep sending them in, and publish them on social media, as op-eds, etc. Continue reading

Mining Resolution Premature –Suwannee Riverkeeper to Charlton County 2019-08-15

Sent just now:


August 15, 2019

To:James E Everett, Chairman, jevephotochristianbooks@windstream.net

      Alphya Benefield, Vice Chair, alphyab@yahoo.com

      Hampton Raulerson, County Administrator, hraulerson@charltoncountyga.gov

      Jenifer Nobles, County Clerk, jnobles@charltoncountyga.gov

Re: Applicant: Twin Pines Minerals, LLC, USACE Application: SAS-2018-00554

Dear Chairman, Vice Chairman, and Staff,

Thank you for your hospitality at your July Regular Session. Especially thanks to the County Clerk for letting me back in to get my hat, and to the County Administrator for coming to St. George Tuesday to find a spot in the shade. Please distribute this letter to the rest of the Commissioners.

On your agenda for tonight is a resolution in support of the titanium mine proposed by Twin Pines Minerals (TPM). While I understand everyone wants jobs, I respectfully submit that far too many things are still unknown, so the time is premature for the Commission to support or oppose this proposed mine.

[Premature for resolution]
Premature for resolution
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Please note that the jobs numbers given by the miners have varied quite a bit, and Continue reading

SRWMD listens about Sabal Trail easements, chooses unfortunately, yet offers assistance 2016-07-12

Attached are my comments to the SRWMD Governing Board today (July 12th 2016) in regards to the Sabal Trail crossing site over the Falmouth Cathedral Cave System.

I was the first to speak at the public comment period followed by Jim Tatum then Merrillee. Jim and Merrillee echoed my concerns. The three of us set the tone for the meeting! The Board was interested and engaged asking questions to better understand what impacts Sabal Trail poses for the cave system and the District. About Time!


Merrillee Malwitz-Jipson of Sierra Club Florida speaking to SRWMD 2016-07-12
Photo credit: Our Santa Fe River

Executive Director, Noah Valenstein offered to personally call the ACE to request Continue reading

Two new reasons for a SEIS: WWALS to USACE, GA-EPD, and FERC 2016-07-08

LiDar Filed Friday as FERC accession number 20160708-5096, http://elibrary.ferc.gov/idmws/file_list.asp?document_id=14476452, “Two new reasons for a USACE Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement and a halt to Sabal Trail permits; see also accession numbers 20160708-5089 and 20160708-5088, by WWALS Watershed Coalition, Inc. under CP15-17.” (PDF) Continue reading

New hydrology report exposes Sabal Trail pipeline risk to Floridan Aquifer

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Jasper, Florida, July 1st 2016 — Another independent professional geologist reveals more omissions and discrepancies in pipeline company reports and faults in federal oversight of the Sabal Trail pipeline: Figure 7: Locations of the caves and springs mentioned in this study groundflow actually goes the other way, drilling under a river will change water flow in the Floridan Aquifer, and there is very high risk of sinkhole collapse. An indigenous Floridian commissioned this scientific report to protect his mother, the living earth. This geological report provides compelling additional reasons for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) to open a new process to evaluate this and other new information.

Bobby C. Billie, one of the Clan Leaders and Spiritual Leader, Council of the Original Miccosukee Simanolee Nation Aboriginal Peoples, asked professional geologist and hydrologist Peter Schreuder, P.G. to conduct investigations at the proposed Sabal Trail crossing under the Suwannee River from Hamilton County and under U.S. 90 in close proximity to the Falmouth Cave System in Suwannee County.

This Schreuder report concludes about the Floridan Aquifer System (FAS): Continue reading

Hydrogeologic Issues of Concern, HDD under Suwannee River –Peter J. Schreuder 2016-06-23

See press release, New hydrology report exposes Sabal Trail pipeline risk to Floridan Aquifer, and this report is also available in PDF.

Hydrogeologic Issues of Concern

Schreuder, Inc. Water-Resources & Environmental Consultants

Directional Horizontal Drilling (HDD) under the
Suwannee River
At Suwannee River State Park

Hydrogeologic Issues of Concern

In any review of potential environmental consequences related to the use of Horizontal Directional Drilling (HDD), both the geotechnical and scientific communities can be expected to raise serious concerns when such drilling is done around karst areas, and in regions which over lie the Floridan Aquifer System (FAS), which includes the Upper Floridan Aquifer, and the karstic geologic subsurface features at the location proposed in Continue reading

Landowner on Withlacoochee River in Hamilton County FL moves to intervene against Sabal Trail –Chris Mericle

Drilling under the Withlacoochee River could have catastrophic effects, a landowner near the Withlacoochee River in Hamilton County, Florida reminds us. Chris Mericle is also a WWALS board member.

Intervenor is a resident of Hamilton County, Florida and lives near the Proposed Sabal Trail Route where it crosses the Withlacoochee River. As such, I am concerned about the adverse and potentially catastrophic effects that the construction and operation of a 36” diameter gas pipeline will have on Fresh Water Resources including Springs and the Floridan Aquifer.

Here’s how you or your organization can file a motion to intervene.

Filed with FERC 22 December 2014 as Accession Number: 20141222-5037, “Motion to Intervene of Christopher J Mericle under CP15-17, et. al.” Continue reading

Sinkhole formation and collapse due to drilling under the Withlacoochee River

Drilling through fragile sinkhole-prone karst limestone under the Withlacoochee River (or the Suwannee River, or the Santa Fe River): what could possibly go wrong? Sabal Trail now proposes to move off of the Withlacoochee River in Florida, but still plans to cross the Withlacoochee in Georgia, and to cross the Suwannee and Santa Fe Rivers, all of which have the same hydrogeology. You can talk directly to Sabal Trail and FERC at the Open House in Jasper, Florida, 5-7PM Tuesday 21 October 2014, and you can join WWALS where the Alapaha River disappears entirely into a sinkhole, at the Alapaha Sink, 2PM Sunday 26 October 2014.

Here are before and after diagrams by Continue reading

Resolution No. 14-10, Hamilton County, FL, 19 August 2014

Other Florida, Georgia, and Alabama counties could do what Hamilton County, Florida just did in this this resolution. Even before it got this resolution, FERC yesterday directed Sabal Trail to deal with what Chris Mericle had been saying, including proposing routes to minimize crossing the Withlacoochee River or to avoid crossing it entirely.

Chris Mericle sent a PDF copy of the resolution with its attached hydrogeological report. I’ve added links to the other referenced documents.

Chris is the local host for the September WWALS Outing on the Withalacoochee and Suwannee Rivers, where you can come float past that same area Sunday 21 September, and see many local springs, sinkholes and shoals that need to be protected from that pipeline.

RESOLUTION NO. 14-10

BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS
HAMILTON COUNTY, FLORIDA Continue reading