The US Forest Service is accepting comments on a preliminary Environmental Assessment of a plan of operations to conduct baseline hydrological and geophysical testing on their proposed toxic tailings location for Rio Tinto’s proposed mine at Oak Flat.
The deadline for comments in April 12, 2015.
Rio Tinto wishes to dump toxic tailings on public land managed by the US Forest Service north of Highway 60 between Superior and Queen Valley (roughly across the street for Boyce Thompson Arboretum). Rio Tinto wants to drill 16 groundwater testing and monitoring wells, 41 geotechnical drill holes, and 32 deep geotechnical test trenches. They want to “improve” more than 12 miles of Forest Service roads, use either illegal or user constructed roads, and go off road to disturb another 11 acres.
The Forest Service has written a Preliminary Environmental Assessment (EA) on Rio Tinto's plan and plans to approve the plan with very few (and minor) changes. Incredibly, the Forest Service did not examine Rio Tinto's full mining plan and insists that this action has no relationship to a larger mine!
There are many things that are wrong with the Forest Service's EA.
Please take a look at the sample comment letter to the Forest Service. Please revise the letter and send it to the Forest Service.
A copy of the Preliminary Assessment is located at: http://www.fs.usda.gov/projects/tonto/landmanagement/projects.
To comment, go to an action page and send/amend the sample letter at action page bottom. Personalized emails have a much greater impact.