Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Rosemont Copper environmental analysis to be posted online

The Coronado National Forest just released the following announcement:

Tucson, AZ (November 27, 2013) – The Coronado National Forest has announced the completion of the Rosemont Copper Project Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS).  An informational copy of the FEIS will be posted on the project website, , beginning November 29, 2013.  [Top, Santa Rita Mountain site for proposed mine. Credit, Rosemont Copper]
The FEIS is being posted on the Web for informational purposes only--the pre-decisional objection period does NOT begin at this time.  Coronado National Forest Supervisor Jim Upchurch requested the FEIS be posted on the Web to allow the public ample time to review the document.  As part of the FEIS appendices, the project website links will include the Biological Opinion, the Memorandum of Agreement regarding the adverse effects on historic properties, and the response to comments from the draft EIS public comment period.
The Forest anticipates that on December 13 the Notice of Availability for the FEIS will be published in the Federal Register, which will be the official release of the FEIS.  Then, on December 15 a legal notice of the opportunity to object to the proposed project will be published in the newspaper of record (Arizona Daily Star).  Publication of the legal notice anticipated on December 15 officially initiates the 45-day objection period to begin on the day after publication.  All documents including the draft Record of Decision will be available at that time on the project website, .
Information on the objection process is posted on the project website and will be noticed in a future news release.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Magnitude 3 earthquake north of Grand Canyon

 The USGS reports a magnitude 3 earthquake last night (Nov. 22) at about 10:32 pm, 25 miles NNW of Grand Canyon Village.

[Right, orange star marks quake epicenter. Red lines are active faults.  Credit, USGS]

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Public meetings scheduled on Arizona's Master Energy Plan

Public meetings on Arizona’s Master Energy Plan have now been scheduled for Tucson, Phoenix, Yuma and Flagstaff.

Leisa Brug, Director of the Governor's Energy Policy Office, will be presenting an overview of the MEP process and discuss topics to be included in the plan (to be released in 2014) followed by a question/answer session and public comment period.  Agendas, public comment forms and more information are available at  This will result in submitting the draft MEP to Governor Brewer by Dec. 31, 2013.   [Right, Arizona energy map from US DOE Energy Information Administration]

Arizona Master Energy Plan Stakeholder Meeting - Tucson
Monday, November 25, 2013

Meeting Location: Arizona State Complex - Tucson
400 W. Congress, North Building
2nd Floor, Conference Room #222
Tucson, Arizona 85701
Arizona Master Energy Plan Stakeholder Meeting - Phoenix
Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Meeting Location: State Capitol Executive Tower
1700 W. Washington Street
2nd floor, Governor's Conference Room #200
Phoenix, Arizona  85007
Arizona Master Energy Plan Stakeholder Meeting - Flagstaff
Tuesday, December 3, 2013
Meeting Location: TBD
Arizona Master Energy Plan Stakeholder Meeting - Yuma
Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Meeting Location: Yuma City Hall
One City Plaza
Room #190
Yuma, Arizona 85364

[excerpted from the Energy Office announcement]

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Scientific core drilling at Petrified Forest National Park

 Over the next five years, a scientific team led by Paul Olsen from Columbia University's Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory, will drill as many as six coreholes to depths of 1.5 km across the Colorado Plateau, including one to 1,800 feet in Petrified Forest National Park, and carry out extensive field investigations as part of the Colorado Plateau Coring Project. The goals include detailed examination of sedimentology, paleontology, paleoclimatology of Triassic-age rocks.   [Right, drill rig in the Park.   Credit, NPS]    [update 11-18-13:   the original post based on my reading of one of the project pages, indicated all 5 coreholes would be drilled in the Park. Thanks to Bill Parker for correcting this and elaborating on the purpose of the drilling. See his comment posted below]

There are numerous online sites to track activity - Park paleontologist Bill Parker's blog, Chinleana (,  the National Park Services site (, and the CPCP Facebook (
and website (

The Park opposes core drilling in the Park by exploration companies looking at the potash resources that underlie the region.   As park paleontologist Bill Parker notes, the Park Service supports scientific research that furthers the scientific and educational value of the parks.    Federal law prohibits mineral leasing and new mining in or under park lands.

Webinar will introduce new EarthCube projects

We launched the new EarthCube project website on Friday - - serving as a workspace for the new EarthCube projects funded by NSF but also as a community information resource.

We invite you to attend our first monthly EarthCube Webinar next Friday, November 22nd at 11:30am EST/8:30am PST (9:30 am Arizona time). This webinar is open to the entire community with the purpose of introducing all of the EarthCube projects and teams.  Attending this webinar would be a great way to get up to speed on the many developments that are underway in EarthCube.

Below is the WebEx call-in information for the webinar:

To join the audio portion of the Personal Conference meeting
Call-in toll-free number (US/Canada): 1-855-244-8681
Call-in toll number (US/Canada): 1-650-479-3207
Call-in toll number (US/Canada)*: 1-650-479-3207
Toll-free dialing restrictions:  

Attendee access code: 222 033 01
To start or join the online portion of the Personal Conference meeting

Thursday, November 07, 2013

Arizona mining: $4.8 billion income, 52,100 jobs

The Arizona Mining Association reports that "Mining activity in 2012 generated $4.8 billion in total income for workers, business and property owners, and governments across Arizona, as well as, accounting for 12,100 direct jobs through the payrolls of mining companies. Indirectly, mining generated an additional 40,000 jobs through vendor purchases of mining companies, consumer spending of workers, and the spending of state and local governments out of new taxes," according to a
new study from Arizona State University (ASU) conducted by the L. William Seidman Research Institute, part of the W.P. Carey School of Business.   AMA says the study concludes that "copper mining is one of the top ten economic base industries in Arizona."

 "The average mining employee income in 2012 was $99,500 per employee which is twice the average labor income per worker in the state during the same time period,” said Kent Hill of the L. William Seidman Research Institute at ASU.

The report  further states that "Arizona mining companies and their employees pay three and a half times more taxes than does the average business in the state, according to the study, and found that mining companies paid $206 million in business tax to Arizona governments and their employees paid an estimated $93 million in individual taxes. That’s an average of $17,000 in business taxes per employee, compared to $3,000 average per worker paid by all businesses. Mining workers paid an average of $7,700 in individual taxes, compared with a statewide figure of $3,900 per employee for all other businesses."