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Attend Forest Service Workshops March 21 & 22

If Rio Tinto gets its way, Benson Spring would be buried under 1.6 billion tons of toxic waste!If Rio Tinto gets its way, Benson Spring would be buried under 1.6 billion tons of toxic waste!Attend public workshops in Superior and Gilbert to tell the Forest Service to protect Oak Flat

The Tonto National Forest is holding public workshops in Superior, AZ, on March 21 and Gilbert, AZ, on March 22. Each workshop runs from 5:00 to 8:00. Please attend these workshops to show the Forest Service that Rio Tinto’s plans to destroy 7,000 acres of public land, including Oak Flat, to build a toxic mine are unacceptable. The Forest Service is hosting workshops to:

  1. update the public on the status of the EIS process
  2. describe the alternatives development process, and
  3. solicit input on the criteria being used to evaluate alternative tailings storage facility locations.  

The Forest Service wants the public to provide input as to the relative importance of a variety of environmental and social criteria that the Forest Service will use to evaluate alternative tailings facility locations.

These workshops are part of an ongoing process to prepare an environmental impact statement to evaluate and disclose the environmental effects from Rio Tinto’s plan to destroy Oak Flat and an additional more than 4,400 acres of precious public land by creating an underground mine at Oak Flat, process copper and other minerals outside the Superior town limits, dump 1.6 billion tons of toxic waste in an unlined facility on public land between Superior and Queen Creek, pump copper concentrate 22 miles to a loading facility in San Tan, and drill more than 30 wells between Magma, AZ and Florence Junction to pump groundwater to supply the proposed mine. 

Meeting agenda:

  • 5:00    Open house
  • 5:30    Forest Service presentation
  • 6:00    Q & A session
  • 6:30    Workshop
  • 8:00    Meeting ends

The March 21 meeting will be at the Superior High School, Multi-purpose room, 100 Mary Drive, Superior, Arizona.

The March 22 meeting will be at the Southwest Regional Library, 775 North Greenfield Road, Gilbert, Arizona.

While you attend these meetings, keep in mind that Rio Tinto’s proposal would:

  • Destroy Oak Flat by causing a 1,00-foot-deep crater 2.5 miles in diameter.
  • Destroy 7,000 acres of public land, including Oak Flat, to build a toxic mine.
  • Dump 1.6 billion tons of toxic tailings directly on the ground on top of public lands used for hiking, ATV’s, and other forms of recreation.
  • Bury several springs.
  • Preliminary drilling results in this proposed toxic dumpsite show far more shallow groundwater is present than Rio Tinto “estimated.”
  • Drill more than 30 water wells between Florence Junction, AZ, and Magma, AZ, to pump ground water to supply the proposed mine.
  • Pump copper concentrate 22 miles to San Tan, AZ where it would be loaded onto railroad cars to be transported out of the United States for final processing.

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