Rosemont Mine's Water Permit Deemed Flawed

November 22, 2013

 Federal environmental regulators are recommending against a permit under the Clean Water Act for a huge copper mine in the Santa Rita Mountains south of Tucson. 

An analysis by the Environmental Protection Agency has found the Rosemont Copper Mine's proposals to mitigate damage to area water supplies are flawed. It is recommending the Army Corps of Engineers deny the permit. That could be significant, because the permit is required before construction on the huge open-pit mine can begin.

Mine officials were notified by letter of the EPA findings. Regional EPA officials have said the mine’s plan would not be enough to avoid significant degradation of the aquatic ecosystem. Opponents of the mine filed suit, after the state issued a groundwater protection permit for the Rosemont Mine.

Rosemont CEO Rod Pace said the mine is developing a detailed response to the EPA letter while the Corps of Engineers and EPA work out the issues it raised.