Judge supports ADEQ decision after thorough review Of Rosemont Copper groundwater permit
TUCSON, AZ (June 15, 2013) -- Judge Thomas Shedden (http://www.azoah.com/Shedden.html) with the Arizona Office of Administrative Hearings ruled Friday in favor of Rosemont Copper after nine days of hearings held in 2012. The hearing was to consider an appeal of Rosemont's Aquifer Protection Permit issued by the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ).
“We are gratified the judge made a thoughtful and detailed decision regarding the appeal and upholding ADEQ’s permit,” said Kathy Arnold, Vice President of Environmental and Regulatory Affairs. “During the hearing, the appellants were given every opportunity to back up their assertions with evidence, but failed to do so. Now, in their statement, the appellants appear to have totally ignored the evidence and the extremely detailed findings by Judge Shedden. The bottom line is that Rosemont's permit is amply supported by scientific studies and data, and meets all legal requirements."
Judge Shedden’s decision (https://portal.azoah.com/aljdec/documents/WQB/12-002-WQAB-ALJDecision-0001.pdf) contained 506 findings of fact and 33 conclusions of law. According to the ruling, the judge rejected all of the issues appellants raised due to their failure to provide credible evidence supporting their assertions. Instead, the record showed ADEQ conducted a thorough review of Rosemont's application and supporting studies and data, the Judge concluded.
“At every step of the permitting process, opposition groups have appealed rulings and filed lawsuits,” said Jamie Sturgess, Augusta Resource Senior Vice President of Corporate Development and Government Affairs. “To date, none have been successful because the federal and state agencies are conducting thorough and detailed analyses through transparent and open public processes.”
Rosemont anticipates a positive hearing with the Water Quality Appeals Board affirming the ruling within the next 30 days. Sturgess added that the company’s development plan and permitting processes continue to be thorough, compliant with laws and highly defensible.
“We look forward to moving past the permitting phase and starting construction on this 21st Century project that will bring thousand of jobs and hundreds of millions of dollars of revenue to southern Arizona, while using the latest technology to minimize impacts to the environment,” said Rod Pace, Rosemont Copper President & CEO. “Rosemont has received all but one of its permits required for operation and expects to receive final approvals and permit decisions by the third quarter of 2013. When in operation, Rosemont will bring more than $700 million annually in economic impact to southern Arizona and support 2,100 direct and indirect jobs in the region.”