The San Carlos Apache Tribe and a coalition of environmental groups have filed two lawsuits challenging plans for the Resolution Copper Mine waste site.
Last month the U.S. Forest Service authorized Resolution Copper Mining to begin exploratory work for a waste storage site, including drilling, trenching and construction of roads and wells.
In their suits, the tribe and environmental groups claim the Forest Service violated several environmental laws and failed to consider the project’s impact on recreation, water quality and cultural sites.
Resolution Copper Mining is a subsidiary of Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton. It’s planning to construct a large copper mine on Tonto National Forest land. The San Carlos Apache Tribe says that land is sacred.
In a written statement, Resolution Copper Spokesman Bill Tanner wrote that his company believes the suits are "without merit."
While the suits only pertain to the waste storage site, opponents will use all means necessary to stop Resolution Copper, San Carlos Apache Tribe Chairman Terry Rambler wrote on behalf of the plaintiffs.
On behalf of the plaintiffs, San Carlos Apache Tribe Chairman Terry Rambler wrote that while the suits only pertain to the waste storage site, opponents will use all means necessary to stop Resolution Copper.