The Trump administration is putting the interests of big corporations ahead of the concerns of everyday Americans by allowing a mining company to dig a mile-wide and half-mile-deep pit that could contaminate miles of federally protected streams, cause massive damage to the local ecosystem, and destroy priceless cultural resources like burial sites. Arizona’s tribes are fighting back and making sure that Trump doesn’t sell-out the welfare of Native people to big corporations.
Associated Press: Arizona tribes challenge permit for open-pit copper mine
Three Native American tribes went to court Wednesday to oppose a planned open-pit copper mine in southern Arizona.
A complaint, jointly filed in U.S. District Court by the Tohono O’odham Nation, Pascua Yaqui Tribe and Hopi Tribe, is challenging the permit issued to Rosemont Copper Company. The company wants to excavate an open-pit mine in the Santa Rita Mountains near Tucson.
The tribes argue the operation would have a detrimental impact on water and cultural resources that have supported them for generations, according to a statement from attorneys at environmental law firm Earthjustice.
With the permit, Rosemont is a step closer to excavating a mile-wide by half-mile deep open pit mine. Tribal officials say the project would send tons of waste rock onto nearby land and destroy streams that are federally protected.
“The few short-term jobs that this mine will create are not worth the destruction that we will have to live with forever,” Pascua Yaqui Tribal Chairman Robert Valencia said in a statement.
The challenge comes two weeks after environmental groups filed their own lawsuit. Save the Scenic Santa Ritas, the Center for Biological Diversity, the Arizona Mining Reform Coalition and the Arizona Grand Canyon Chapter of the Sierra Club all say the mine would bring harm to wildlife and protected lands.
The permit was issued by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers last month.