EPA to Forest Service: “Project should not proceed as proposed”
February 23, 2012
In a major blow to Augusta Resource Corporation’s plans for its Rosemont Copper Company subsidiary to build an open pit copper mine 35 miles south of Tucson, Arizona, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said Tuesday the “project should not proceed as proposed.”
In a Feb. 21 letter to Coronado National Forest Supervisor Jim Upchurch, EPA Region IX Administrator Jared Blumenfeld stated that Vancouver, British Columbia-based Augusta Resource’s Draft Environmental Impact Statement was “environmentally unsatisfactory” because it provided “inadequate information” to the public and decision makers.
“The Draft EIS does not adequately assess the significant environmental impacts of the proposed project,” Blumenfeld stated.
As a result, EPA is requesting the Forest Service to prepare a supplemental draft EIS “prior to the issuance of any decision regarding the project.” A supplemental DEIS would be subject to public review and comments, a process that will extend the permitting process for many months, if not years.