apnews.com/afec34dcf77e3c6ea51a7c03423fd447
ST. LOUIS (AP) — The Biden administration is moving to tighten oversight of projects that benefitted from Trump-era loosened water protections, but some projects including a controversial Georgia mine will likely be able to escape new scrutiny.It’s the latest twist in a long-running dispute over the scope of the Clean Water Act, with each new administration aiming to shift which waterways require federal protections. The new guidance aims to diminish the impact of Trump-era environmental rollbacks, which included eliminating federal protections for numerous small streams, wetlands and other waterways.In a recently posted policy, the Biden administration said many developers would not be able to rely on favorable assessments they got under Trump. But the change will likely allow some projects — including a proposed titanium mine in Georgia — to escape the clampdown. The new guidance generally does not apply to developers if they were told that none of the waters on their property site were subject to federal oversight under Trump and could advance without a federal permit — even if the same waters are now protected under the tightened rules currently in place.Hub peek embed (apf-business) - Compressed layout (automatic embed)It’s not clear how many projects could bypass stricter scrutiny. Among them is the 600-acre (243-hectare) Twin Pine Minerals project which would mine titanium and other minerals a few miles outside the Okefenokee Swamp, home to the largest U.S. wildlife refuge east of the Mississippi River. Environmental advocates have long opposed the project, arguing that it threatens hundreds of acres of critical wetlands. “The Corps’ interpretation of its policy causes an absurd result for sites like Twin Pines,” said Kelly Moser, an attorney at the Southern Environmental Law Center that has fought the project.The project still needs permits from state regulators. In December, a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service official wrote to the Army Corps and...
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