Correcting the Record: The Town of Florence’s Legal History against the Florence Copper Project

Correcting the Record: The Town of Florence's Legal History against the Florence Copper Project

We were disappointed by the false and misleading comments made during the April 17, 2017 Town Council meeting regarding the Town of Florence’s legal history fighting the Florence Copper project. The comments implied that Florence Copper had initiated legal proceedings against the town (false) and then acted to stall those proceedings (false). It is the Town that has always been the aggressor.

To clarify and to correct the record, we are offering a chronology of legal events, as noted below. We feel it is important to note that each legal challenge, whether against Florence Copper, the State of Arizona, or the Environmental Protection Agency, was initiated by the Town.

In addition, not one legal challenge to date has ended in the Town’s favor.

Chronology of Legal Events

Since 2012, the Town of Florence (TOF) and Southwest Value Partners (SWVP) have initiated a series of political and legal actions against Taseko/Florence Copper to prevent the company from opening its in-situ copper recovery facility in the Town of Florence, Arizona. The legal actions taken to date by the TOF/SWVP, who have routinely collaborated to thwart the opening of the Florence Copper project, are briefly summarized below and all are a matter of public record.

April 2012: TOF condemns Curis Resources’ (now Florence Copper’s) administrative building on its private property.

August 2012: TOF passes local ordinance banning the use or storage of 50 gallons or more of sulfuric acid in the Town or within two miles of its boundaries.

October 2012: TOF/SWVP/Pulte Homes and Johnson Utilities seek to enjoin ADEQ from issuing the Temporary Aquifer Protection Permit to Florence Copper by challenging the state program for such permits.

March 2013: TOF passes a resolution directing its senior staff to confiscate Florence Copper’s private property through its municipal power of eminent domain.

August 2013: TOF/SWVP/Pulte Homes/Johnson Utilities challenge ADEQ’s issuance of Temporary Aquifer Protection Permit No. P-106360 to Florence Copper for its in-situ copper recovery Production Test Facility.

October 2013: TOF files complaint against Florence Copper seeking to condemn its private property and making application for immediate possession of its property.

September 2016: TOF/SWVP/Pulte Homes appeal the Significant Amendment of Florence Copper’s Temporary Aquifer Protection Permit issued by ADEQ.

January 2017: TOF/SWVP, GRIC and Councilman Anderson file petitions for review with the Environmental Appeals Board challenging EPA’s issuance of the Underground Injection Control Permit to Florence Copper.

January 2017: TOF adopts a resolution authorizing the Town’s legal counsel to file a complaint with the Arizona Ombudsman Citizens’ Aide. The complaint is against ADEQ claiming it did not adequately consider the Town’s concerns about the Florence Copper project.

TBD 2017: TOF/SWVP indicate their intent to appeal Florence Copper’s pending renewal of its Air Quality Permit issued by Pinal County.

We invite you to get the facts about the project by calling our staff. We will always answer your questions in an open and transparent manner.

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