Dear Neighbors, Friends, and Colleagues,
We have heard from several members of the community asking for an update on our efforts to stop the risky Florence Copper Project. Please know that although we haven’t had the resources to conduct any community meetings, we have been quite busy with important action items and activities that we hope will stop the mine from moving forward.
Most recently, we spent months preparing factual arguments, testimony, and detailed exhibits outlining the incompatibility of the mine with the existing and future residential plans for an administrative legal hearing. We finished the trial in May and submitted our closing arguments this past month opposing the mine and specifically requesting the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) repeal the temporary permit from the state. Thank you to those of you who were able to attend some of the hearing proceedings and others who have requested the transcripts in order to keep up with this complicated process.
Now that all arguments have been heard and submitted, we believe we will have another summary due in September, with the expectation that an ultimate decision will be made on the permit in October. This is subject to change, so we will keep you updated with any information we may receive between now and the Fall. We sincerely appreciate the overwhelming opposition to the mine, and all that you have done -and continue to do – to stay engaged in opposing the mine and repealing the temporary permit from the state. We strongly believe that your letters, phone calls, and arguments for the permit to be revoked have made a tremendous impact in this process.
Many of you have also contacted us regarding the permit with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). We continue to keep the pressure up, requesting EPA’s denial, and we are in contact with key representatives of the department on a weekly basis in order to keep them up to speed and informed. Again, we are hopeful that your numerous calls and letters expressing opposition are making an impact. Thus far, the agency has not made a decision, and unfortunately, we still have no indication as to when they may release an answer. To the best of our ability, we will keep you aware of any movement or answers as we are notified.
Finally, we’ve discussed with many of you the latest newsletter released by proponents of the mine. They claim they are addressing “Myths” and “Facts” on the project. Unfortunately, they continue to avoid addressing the FACT that billions of pounds of sulfuric acid that will be injected into the ground; the FACT that the property has never been successfully commercially mined; and the FACT that no in-situ project has never restored groundwater to pre-mining conditions. THESE ARE THE FACTS, no matter what propaganda they choose to distribute.
Thank you again for your willingness to support and stand up for the facts, and all of the time and help you’ve extended in our collective efforts to defeat a proposal that is not good for the community, the environment, or our economy.