The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers confirmed Monday that it intends to issue a crucial permit authorizing construction of the proposed Rosemont Mine in the Santa Rita Mountains southeast of Tucson.
In addition, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s regional office, which had been regularly blasting the $2 billion project since 2012, says it will not send the mine issue to its Washington, D.C., office for additional review. That turnaround by the EPA is a huge boost for the mine project, because an EPA move to elevate it could have delayed the already-delayed project for months more and maybe led to an EPA veto.
Word of the Corps’ intent to OK the project and the EPA’s withdrawal from the case first surfaced in an email sent Thursday, Feb. 28, by a top EPA official to an attorney for the Tohono O’Odham Nation and two other Arizona tribes. The email came from Michael Stoker, administrator for the EPA’s San Francisco regional office that governs Arizona issues, and offered no reason for the agency’s decision.