Today is the first day that critics and opponents of the proposed Rosemont Mine can write formal objections to the project to the U.S. Forest Service.
Those who object to either the final Rosemont environmental impact statement or the Forest Service’s December draft decision that tentatively approved the mine have until Feb. 14 to make their thoughts formally known to the service. The mine would remove about 243 million pounds of copper annually in the Santa Rita Mountains southeast of Tucson.
Only those who have participated in other formal comment processes for the mine can file objections at this point. They would have had to have commented on earlier drafts of the environmental report, or during the effort known as “scoping.” That occurred in 2008, when the Forest Service sought public comment on what issues needed study for the environmental report.
The issues they raise now must be based on those previous comments, unless objectors base their comments on new information learned since they commented before.
Objections can be mailed to the Reviewing Officer, Southwest Region, U.S. Forest Service, 333 Broadway SE, Albuquerque, NM 87102. They can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org, with objections submitted in formats including Word, rich text format, text and html language.
Objectors must include their names and addresses, with a phone number if available. They must also include a signature or other verification of authorship. The Forest Service will have up to 75 days to respond to objections before making a final decision.
If a group of people file a joint objection, they must provide verification of the identity of their lead objector. They must also provide the name of the Rosemont Mine and the name and title of the responsible federal official and of the Coronado National Forest.
In their objections, people must say how they believe the environmental report and/or the draft decision violates federal law, regulation or policy. They can also suggest remedies to resolve their objections and supporting reasons for the Forest Service’s reviewing officer to consider.
They must also submit a statement demonstrating the connection between their earlier comments on the mine and the new objection or objections. More details about objecting are contained in a legal notice that was published in Tuesday’s Star.