Donald J. Trump’s election to President doesn’t mean the federal regulations that have so far blocked Toronto-based Hudbay Minerals’ plans to construct the $1.5 billion Rosemont copper mine will be easily eliminated clearing the way for construction of the controversial open-pit mine, The Arizona Daily Star reported Sunday.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Los Angeles district office last July recommended denying issuing Hudbay the crucial Section 404 Clean Water Act permit for the Rosemont project. The Corps’ San Francisco division office is expected to make a final decision in the near future.
If the division office also decides to deny the 404 permit, then the new Trump administration would be faced with a difficult challenge of overturning the decision, according to the Daily Star.
The paper reported:
“If the Trump administration wanted to overturn an unfavorable decision, it would have to reopen a very detailed record and develop additional facts or analysis,” said Tracy Mehan, an assistant Environmental Protection Agency administrator under President George W. Bush and now head of government affairs for the nonprofit American Water Works Association.
Agreeing, University of Colorado law professor Mark Squillace noted that if the Army Corps of Engineers left behind a strong record backing denial, it would include “everything that suggested the agency thought approving the permit was a bad idea.”’
The Corps’ new division commander, Col. Pete Helmlinger, will visit the Rosemont site 35 miles southeast of downtown Tucson in the near future.
The Corp has no timetable for making a decision on the mine, said Corps spokeswoman Heather Babb, and it’s not publicly known if the agency will decide before President Obama leaves office, the Star reported.