JESUP — DuPont Titanium Technologies has withdrawn its application for a surface mining permit in Wayne County with the Environmental Protection Division.
Hundreds of local residents, conservation groups and elected officials expressed concerns regarding the proposed operation, which would cover over 4,000 acres in Wayne County and may threaten nearby watersheds.
“Members of the Jesup community have been upfront about their apprehensions around the project, and it is now evident that DuPont hears them loud and clear,” said Bill Sapp, senior attorney for the Southern Environmental Law Center. “DuPont must account for these concerns with stronger protections for wetlands and other vital waters the community depends on before moving forward.”
The SELC, GreenLaw, Altamaha Riverkeeper and Satilla Riverkeeper recently filed comments to the proposed permit and attended the first public meeting called by the Concerned Neighbors of Wayne County last week.
The groups allege that under DuPont’s withdrawn application, the mining process to extract titanium and other hard metals would destroy over 190 acres of wetlands and compromise water quality in the Altamaha and Satilla watersheds, as well as numerous ponds and shallow wells used by local residents.
Surface-mining regulations require that the mining land-use plan must include a description of the surrounding lands and communities that will be affected. The groups charge that the plan in DuPont’s application includes a description of the lands to be mined, but fails to include the impacts from mining activities on the nearby community of Jesup.
"While we applaud this decision, what DuPont really needs to do is drop this ill-advised mining proposal altogether,” said Steve Caley, senior attorney for GreenLaw. “Mining in a populated area near public schools is simply not appropriate."
“We are glad to see that DuPont is acknowledging the unanimous opposition of the people of Wayne County to their proposed strip mine in one of our most populous neighborhoods,” said Beth Roach of the Concerned Neighbors for Wayne County. “We do not welcome or need their negative impacts on our water supply, our air quality, our public safety or our property values.”
In its request to withdraw the surface mining permit application, DuPont stated it will take time to address community concerns as presented in recent meetings. The groups want the EPD to take a more stringent approach with future applications to ensure any mining activities are in compliance with the law, and that surrounding lands, water sources and communities receive adequate protections.
“Jesup is an incredible community that is willing to come together to protect their surroundings from irresponsible development and industry,” Altamaha Coastkeeper Jen Hilburn said. “DuPont may have pulled this initial permit application, but now is the time for neighbors to stand together and prevent DuPont from making closed-door deals before re-applying for a permit.”