By Tony Davis, Arizona Daily Star
Sunday, August 7, 2011
Pima County fired another shot at the proposed Rosemont Mine on Monday, telling the Forest Service that the mine would require $27 million in public spending on roads, but has only committed $211,743 to public agencies for road work.
The county says the mine will cause $14.6 million in damage to 44 miles of primary access roads and would require $13 million to add lanes to Highway 83, the route for mining trucks hauling ore.
That criticism was among several that Pima County Administrator Chuck Huckelberry submitted Monday in the county’s second round of comments on the Coronado National Forest’s working Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS).
The proposed open pit mine would be about a mile wide and would be on private and public land just east of the ridge line in the northern Santa Rita Mountains.
The Forest Service has said in the DEIS that it cannot block the mine as long as it complies with environmental laws. Pima County argues that if the Forest Service cannot stop the mine, it should require the mine to pay for mitigation measures, but that such requirements are lacking in the DEIS.
Huckelberry said the ADEIS said heavy mining trucks will increase maintenance costs on Highway 83 but the document did not provide cost figures.
“Incredibly, it is assumed impacts are limited to Highway 83 when other sections of the ADEIS state that trucks will be transporting heavy material and equipment between the mine and the Port of Tucson, which is located at Kolb and Valencia, and would include city and county roads, as well as Interstate 10,” he wrote.