Tucson, AZ (June 21, 2012) – The Coronado National Forest is currently reviewing public input received during the comment period for the Rosemont Copper Project Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). The Forest received over 25,000 comments during this period. All substantive comments have been identified, coded, and organized and responses are being developed for them. The development of response to comments is an integral part of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) process as the Forest moves toward a final decision on the project. The Forest’s response to these comments will be incorporated into future public disclosures for the project as required under NEPA.
“Public comments have helped to identify the additional work now in progress to further analyze and determine effects for a number of topics related to the project,” said Forest Supervisor Jim Upchurch. Upchurch has asked for additional analyses of air quality, water quality and quantity, seeps and springs, riparian resources, dark skies, socioeconomics, and transportation. The additional analysis is necessary to insure that the project meets applicable law, regulation, and policy.
The Forest is working closely with other local, state, and federal agencies, including the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), to identify and obtain the information necessary to prepare a complete, high-quality analysis of the effects of the project. Consultation with the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service is underway to determine effects on threatened and endangered species. This consultation is required to be completed prior to a final decision by the Forest Supervisor on the project.
Additional mitigation measures are being developed along with detailed monitoring plans to respond to effects of the project on important Forest resources. A number of earlier plans are being revised and updated, including the reclamation and post-mine closure plans. The very detailed process of calculating the required financial assure or “bond” that Rosemont Copper Company must post prior to implementation of the project is underway.
Due to the many aspects of completing these analyses and plans, a date has not been set for publication of the Final EIS. The Forest Service is working closely with cooperating agencies and the proponent to obtain the required information as quickly and expeditiously as possible. As soon as the additional reports and analyses are received and reviewed, a timeline for the Final EIS and Record of Decision will be reported.
Interested individuals are reminded of the project website at www.RosemontEIS.us for additional information about the Rosemont Copper Project.