SABC responds to Brodesky’s praise of Pima County wasting money fighting Rosemont
Guest Editorial: Re: Josh Brodesky article, Arizona Daily Star September 6, 2012 “County challenges to mine well worth cost to taxpayers.
Josh Brodesky was right … on one count. It is vital that Rosemont Copper meets or exceeds environmental, air quality and related health concerns set by the federal government. However, Mr. Brodesky’s praise of Pima County’s extensive time and effort to investigate the mine’s plan for compliance was wrong. Although Pima County was a participating agency, it was not in their jurisdiction to duplicate efforts by 17 federal agencies authorized to conduct this study.
The Southern Arizona Business Coalition has challenged Pima County efforts to thwart permits for the mine which, when open, will substantially add to Southern Arizona’s tax base, economy, and add 2100 direct and indirect jobs … not 400, as Mr. Brodesky stated.
SABC contends Pima County acted outside its responsibility and questions their motivation. Case in point: When Pima County favors and issue, such as the F-35, they didn’t question air quality, noise control, or any other issues that may result from the program. They let the presiding federal agencies do their job.
While the County admits to spending about $190,000 on contracts related to Rosemont, they would not have incurred $97,000 in attorneys’ fees had it not abused its discretion in denying the air quality permit to Rosemont. On November 30, 2011, the attorney working on behalf of Pima County found that the County’s “decision to deny Rosemont’s permit application . . . was contrary to law.” Further, a Superior Court Ruling, dated July 5, 2012, determined that the Pima County Air Quality Hearing Board “acted in an arbitrary and capricious manner and that the abused their discretion.” Arizona Department has since taken over this process from the County.
An additional $15,500 was spent by Pima County appealing the Arizona Corporation Commission line siting proceeding for the TEP power line to Rosemont. Again, they did not prevail.
Why does the County waste taxpayer dollars fighting Rosemont? SABC suspects the County’s actions are soley based on personal agenda and politics. Rosemont Copper has met, and exceeded, every obligation to prove it is a responsible mining operation that respects the environment by utilizing the newest state-of-the-art processes to ensure this commitment.
SABC has requested a full accounting of Pima County’s time and dollars, which blockade Rosemont’s efforts to open a responsible mine that will provide much needed jobs to Southern Arizona. Note: By law, applicant pays for Federal review, not the taxpayers.
A more detailed review of the information from Pima County records on this matter will be available on our website, www.soazbc.com.
The Southern Arizona Business Coalition was formed to support industrial, mining, military and resource economic opportunities in Southern Arizona.
Bill Assenmacher, President, Caid Industries, Tucson, AZ
President of Southern Arizona Business Coalition
Rick Grinnell, Founder, Smart United Business Strategies, Inc. Tucson, AZ.
VP of Southern Arizona Business Coalition