Rosemont Copper plan nearing final decision - Tucson News Now

Rosemont Copper plan nearing final decision

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GREEN VALLEY, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

It's another step forward for the controversial Rosemont Mine project. The Forest Service gave a preliminary green light to the mine which would be located southeast of Green Valley, but the fight to stop it isn't over.

Forest Service officials explained their draft record decision. It's a preliminary OK for a modified version of Rosemont's plan, one that Forest Service says works best to meet applicable laws and minimize environmental impact.

The report shows concerns about pollution, water quality and the harm this project could cause to 10 endangered species. But, supporters argue, it will bring in more than a billion dollars a year to our local economy.

This decision is not a for sure thing. There are still questions like whether the mine can meet the federal Clean Water Act.

"I do strongly believe this would be devastating for Southern Arizona for the people that live here," Gayle Hartmann, who is against the mine, said.  "For the environment and the economies of small communities. I still believe it's not going to happen."

"It's going to create 2,900 jobs in the region of Arizona and will have an annual economic impact of 1.1 billion dollars," Dan Ryan with Rosemont Copper said.

Beginning on Jan. 1, there will be a 45 day objection process where those involved in the process can weigh in. If all goes as planned, Rosemont Copper officials are hoping to break ground in July and have the project completed in late 2015 or early 2016.

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