(PDF version can be downloaded here)
SSSR Requests Army Corps to Deny Rosemont Clean Water Act Permit or Conduct Required Environmental Study on the Mine’s Mitigation Plan
(Tucson, Ariz.) With a permit decision looming, Save the Scenic Santa Ritas (SSSR) is requesting the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers deny a crucial permit needed for the proposed Rosemont Mine because of the project owners’ failure to present a mitigation plan that compensates for the project’s impacts to southern Arizona’s critical drinking water, wildlife, and other public values as required by the Clean Water Act (CWA).
“Toronto-based Hudbay Minerals Inc. has failed to submit a mitigation plan that legally and adequately compensates for the massive destruction of wetlands, springs and seeps and other important, functioning aquatic resources that meet the CWA’s requirements under Section 404 of the law,” SSSR President Gayle Hartmann says. SSSR requested the Corps last December to conduct a Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement on Hudbay’s 800-page mitigation plan, but that hasn’t occurred.
“At this crucial juncture, the evidence is clear: The Corps must deny the Rosemont 404 permit,” Hartmann states in a letter to the Corps. “Short of that, the only other appropriate and legally defensible option is for the Corps to compel the initiation of a Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS).
SSSR released an index of detailed technical concerns included in the extensive record of federal, state, local and tribal objections against constructing the proposed open-pit copper mine.
This includes the Corps’ letter to Hudbay in December of 2016 acknowledging the Corps’ Los Angeles District office’s July 2016 recommendation to deny the permit.
The Santa Rita Mountains are one of the world’s most important biological treasures providing renewable water supplies to the Tucson metropolitan area and which are sacred to Native American tribes. The proposed mile-wide, half-mile deep open-pit copper mine would dump waste rock and mine tailings on more than 2,500 acres of Coronado National Forest, destroy habitat for a dozen threatened and endangered species and threaten water supplies that provide a significant amount of groundwater recharge in the Tucson basin.
[Editors Note: Copy of the letter to the U.S. Army Corps Engineers and corresponding attachment can be downloaded here.]
Save the Scenic Santa Ritas is a non-profit, community organization working to protect the Santa Rita Mountains from environmental degradation caused by mining and mineral exploration activities. For more information, go to ScenicSantaRitas.org, RosemontMineTruth.com, Facebook, and Twitter.