Tonto National Forest holds open house for proposed Resolution Copper tailings site; public comment still sought

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Superior Sun

Last week the Tonto National Forest held an open house at the Superior Junior Senior High School Mulitpurpose room. The purpose of the open house was to allow the public to comment on hydrological and geotechnical concerns they may have in regards to the proposed Resolution Copper tailings site. This particular open house was focused on the impacts that studying the proposed tailings site. Conducting the environmental impacts on the tailing sites will require geological and hydrological studies, those studies of the land and water will require many of the forest roads to be improved and maintained and in some cases the company will need to add new temporary roads to access the potential drill sites. These studies will help to prepare baseline studies needed to assist the forest service in making decisions pertaining to the tailing site.

In mid May, many local community leaders as well as residents received a letter from the forest service outlining the work that will need to be done by Resolution Copper in order to fully determine if the proposed tailings site will be a viable spot. The baseline study project will require the company to construct 16 drill sites to accommodate 16 ground water testing and monitoring wells that would impact approximately 4.21 acres. Complete 41 geotechnical drill holes and piezometer installations that would impact approximately .27 acres. Construct geotechnical test trenches at 33 sites that would impact approximately 1.32 acres, Complete roadway improvements to allow access to data gathering sites on Forest Service land, this would impact 16.42 acres. Construct contractor laydown yards, this would impact 2.19 acres. Conduct road maintenance for drill sites with monitoring wells or piezometers installed and also allow use of short term temporary access roads to bring tracked rig to off road locations.

Anyone wishing to make a comment was able to record their comment at the open house. If you missed the open house and still wish to make a comment, you may send a written comment to Mr. Neil Bosworth, Forest Supervisor, Tonto National Forest, 2324 East McDowell Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85006 or via fax to 602-225-5295 you may also email your comments to comments-southwestern-tonto@fs.ed.us. All comments must be received via mail, in person, email or fax by Monday, June 23, 2014. Anyone wishing to be added to the mailing list can contact Celeste Daisy Kinsey at 602-225-5248 or ckinsey@fs.fed.us. The letter to the public from the forest service explained that the comments must be relevant to this particular part of the study, they are not recording comments on the overall mining project in this phase, comments in this period are to be relevant to the geological and hydrological study in the proposed tailings site. Those using citations or references in their comments, must include those reference and citations.

This is only one of the many phases of permitting and public hearing processes that Resolution Copper will undergo as the Mine Plan of Operations goes through the National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA) process. Resolution Copper submitted the much awaited Mine Plan of Operations to the Tonto National Forest in November 2013. You can read the plan of operations online at: http://bit.ly/1uzQhNj

Mila Besich-Lira (200 Posts)

Mila Besich-Lira is a resident of Superior with two children. She volunteers for many local organizations. She is an experienced fundraiser and event planner for Copper Corridor Economic Development Coalition. She covers some of the area town councils and schools.


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