KGUN 9 On Your SideNewsLocal News


Mayor Romero objects to Rosemont Mine water storage in facility owned partially by city

Romero sends letter of objection to CAP board
Posted: 12:25 PM, Jan 07, 2022
Updated: 2022-01-07 17:15:31-05
Mayor Regina Romero

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — Mayor Regina Romero objected to a Central Arizona Project Board plan that will allow a mine to store water where the city stores its water.

The plan allows Rosemont Mine to store water at the Pima Road Recharge Program, which is jointly owned by the city and CAP.

In a letter to President Goddard and CAWCD Governing Board Directors the Mayor explained:

Even from the perspective of good water management practices, we believe that, in this case, groundwater storage to benefit Rosemont Mine is a net negative. If Rosemont ever begins operations, it expects to pump 5,400 acre-feet of groundwater for its use each year, according to the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS). Th is means that even if all of Rosemont's 1,124 acre-feet of NIA allocation is available in a given year-however unlikely that may be during shortage-the Mine will still be pumping approximately four acre-feet of groundwater for every one acre-foot it stores.

The city has the right of first refusal, meaning it can use any portion of the facility that CAP isn't using to store city water.

"As co-owners of PMRRP, we are very disappointed by the CAP Board’s decision to allow Rosemont Mine to store water at the facility. This will compel the City of Tucson to consider exercising our right of first refusal," Romero said in a statement.

In a letter Romero sent to the CAP board and president, she wrote:

"We are concerned about Rosemont Mine operations causing additional water quality issues in a region that continues to suffer the impacts of TCE, 1,4, Dioxane, and PFAS groundwater contamination.

“We live here, and despite industry claims to the contrary, we strongly believe that the Rosemont Mine project will diminish our groundwater supply and contaminate our soils and our aquifers for the predominant benefit of a private, foreign corporation. . . Increased contamination of groundwater means further dependence on dwindling Colorado River supplies in Southern Arizona where we do not have a renewable surface water source.”

The Mayor and Council discussed the proposal at a city council meeting on November 23rd. Their comments can be heard in the player below at the 2:42:30 mark.