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Development permit suspended for development planned in Arizona desert

Posted at 12:50 PM, Feb 22, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-22 14:50:15-05

BENSON, Ariz. (AP) - Federal officials have suspended a permit for the second time for a 28,000-home development planned in southeast Arizona.

The Army Corps of Engineers suspended the Clean Water Act permit last week for the Villages at Vigneto project planned in Benson.

The action comes two weeks after environmental law organization Earthjustice filed a lawsuit on behalf of six environmental groups, claiming the federal government failed to complete a comprehensive analysis of the project's effects on the environment.

Environmentalists say the groundwater pumping for the project could threaten the San Pedro River.

The Corps has ordered developer Michael Reinbold of El Dorado Benson LLC to halt any previously authorized activities while it considers any corrections and clarifications.

Reinbold did not respond to requests for comment.