The Tohono O’odham Nation is demanding that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers engage in “government-to-government” consultations with the tribe before deciding whether to issue a crucial Clean Water Act permit needed to construct Toront0-based Hudbay Minerals proposed $1.9 billion Rosemont copper mine.
“The Corps must consult with the Nation regarding its ongoing review of the permit, including all the reasons articulated in the (Corps’) Los Angeles District’s decision recommending denial of the permit,” attorneys for Earthjustice, which is representing the Nation, stated in a detailed 42-page letter.
Consultation would allow the Nation to provide additional legal and scientific support to a July 2016 recommendation by the Corps’ district office to deny the Section 404 Clean Water Act (CWA) permit for the proposed open pit that would be blasted into the northeast slope of the Santa Rita Mountains on the Coronado National Forest southeast of Tucson.
The mine, which could be come the third largest open pit copper mine in the United States, cannot be built without the permit.
The Nation’s Nov. 28 letter was sent to Col. D. Peter Helmlinger, Division Commander of the Corps’ South Pacific Division based in San Francisco, which is reviewing the District’s denial recommendation. Continue reading