Tucson, AZ (April 3, 2012) – The Rosemont Copper Project Draft Environmental Impact Statement public review and comment period ended on January 31, 2012. Coronado National Forest officials estimate over 4,000 people attended one or more of the seven public meetings held in the affected region regarding the project. Over 25,000 comments were submitted by members of the public, elected officials, organizations, and local, state and federal agencies. All substantive comments have been identified, coded, and organized.
The Forest is now drafting a document responding to the comments. The Forest’s “response” will also be reflected in changes to the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) as the Forest follows the process to prepare a Final Environmental Impact Statement following the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). This final response to comments report will be appended to the Final Environmental Impact Statement.
Many comments suggest improvements in the analyses and documentation completed at this point in the environmental analysis process. “Public comments will help us identify the appropriate environmental studies and help us document our findings in a way that is meaningful to the public,” said Forest Supervisor Jim Upchurch. Upchurch is the decision maker for the Forest Service and will decide which of several alternatives to select for implementation once the environmental analysis is complete and provides the documentation needed to make a reasoned and rationed decision.
Upchurch added “our project schedule depends heavily on what additional work is identified in public comments on the DEIS.” The Forest is now in the process of closely considering public input, identifying additional needed studies or data, and obtaining that needed information. A project schedule is expected to be outlined later this spring.
Interested individuals are reminded of the project website at www.RosemontEIS.us for additional information about the Rosemont Copper Project proposal, analysis, technical studies, and agencies cooperating with the forest on this analysis. All public comments are also accessible for review from this website.