Good news! On Thursday of this week, the Arizona Water Quality Appeals Board denied the Town of Florence and Southwest Value Partners’ motion to reconsider its previous approval of Florence Copper’s temporary Aquifer Protection Permit. In rejecting the Town and Southwest Value Partners’ request, the Arizona Water Quality Appeals Board made clear that they believe Florence Copper’s permit fully complies with Arizona law and found no merit in the Town and Southwest Value Partners’ claims. This means the temporary Aquifer Protection Permit for the project is final.
Later this month, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Appeals Board will hear final arguments regarding the project’s Underground Injection Control permit. Once this federal appeal process has concluded and this permit is confirmed, Florence Copper will be in a position to finally start the construction process for the Production Test Facility.
As always, we wanted you to be up-to-date on these latest developments and informed on the current project status.
Meanwhile, the Florence Town Council is holding another budget-related council meeting this Monday, July 17, at 5 p.m. at Florence Town Hall. At this meeting, it is expected they will be concluding the budget process for the upcoming fiscal year. Even though the Town has already spent over $1.2 million of taxpayer dollars on aggressive yet unsuccessful litigation against Florence Copper, the EPA, and ADEQ, the Council appears prepared to raise property taxes to help fund even more money for lawyers and legal fees.
We have heard from many citizens who feel strongly that instead of raising property taxes and wasting even more tax dollars on fruitless legal maneuvers, the $1.2 million dollars could have been far better spent improving conditions in Florence: revitalization of Main Street, improving roads, inspiring economic development, elevating police & fire protection, and perhaps reducing taxes or at least avoiding new tax increases.
It will be interesting to see what the Council does. We’ll be at the meeting, and we hope you can attend too.
As always, your phone calls and emails are welcome if you’d like to discuss the project more.