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Arizona agency taking charge of mine permit issue

TUCSON, Arizona - Arizona's environmental protection agency is agreeing to a mining company's request to take over air-quality permitting for a proposed new open pit mine and is proposing to approve the requested permit.

Rosemont Copper Co. asked the state Department of Environmental Quality last year to take over permitting for the Rosemont Mine to be located 30 miles southeast of Tucson.

By taking over permitting, the state is taking it away from Pima County.

The state agency says its actions provide "regulatory certainty" for the project and that Pima County has acted in an "arbitrary and capricious" manner on permitting.

Pima County Administrator Chuck Huckelberry tells The Arizona Daily Star that shortcomings in Rosemont's application caused any certainty.

Huckelberry also says the state is now rushing consideration of the permitting.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.

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