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TUCSON, Ariz. -- Federal environmental regulators have recommended that a planned copper mine in the Santa Rita Mountains near Tucson not be given a permit under the Clean Water Act.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency made its recommendation regarding the Rosemont Mine in a letter sent earlier this month to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Regional EPA officials say the mine's proposed activities for mitigating the effects of the operation would not be enough to avoid significant degradation of the aquatic ecosystem.

Rep. Raul Grijalva, D-Ariz., was among those praising the EPA's findings on Thursday. He and other critics contend the mine would be an ecological disaster.

A lawsuit filed by opponents over a state decision that awarded a groundwater protection permit for the mine is also pending.

Associated Press,

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