PDEQ to hold ASARCO air quality permit hearing

Pima County Department of Environmental Quality (PDEQ) will hold a formal Public Hearing on the request for an air quality permit renewal for ASARCO Mission Complex copper mine (ASARCO) operating at 4201 W. Pima Mine Road in Sahuarita, Arizona.

The formal Public Hearing will be Tuesday, November 27, 2012, at the Rancho Resort Clubhouse at 15900 South Rancho Resort Boulevard in Sahuarita, Arizona, from 5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. There will be an opportunity at this hearing for the public to speak about the proposed renewal of the ASARCO air quality permit or to drop off written comments about the permit.

ASARCO is currently operating under an air quality permit issued in 2003 and revised in 2011. This existing five-year permit remains in effect until the Control Officer (Director) of PDEQ makes a decision regarding the air quality permit renewal. The proposed air quality permit requires ASARCO to continue to control particulate emissions from the tailings by incorporating a tailings management plan. In addition, the permit requires ASARCO to continue to control particulate emissions from crushers, conveyor belts and processing equipment through the use of various pollution control equipment. Additionally, all equipment at ASARCO is subject to local and/or federal standards that limit or control overall emissions from the facility. There are no changes to ASARCO’s operations proposed in this permit renewal.

The official public comment period for the proposed permit began on October 1, 2012, and will end on November 30, 2012. Copies of the permit application and relevant background material may be reviewed at http://www.deq.pima.gov/or during normal business hours at the PDEQ offices, 33 N. Stone Ave., Suite 700, in Tucson. For additional information, please call (520) 243-7400.

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