Once again, it seems the Town of Florence is intent on wasting more of your tax dollars on yet another senseless legal fight.
It wasn’t enough to wrongly condemn our offices, an action that the court concluded was wrong and directed the Town to pay $100K in damages.
It wasn’t enough to initiate aggressive litigation against Florence Copper, claiming that the Town needed to seize our private property through its powers of eminent domain allegedly for the future construction of a water treatment facility.
It isn’t enough to challenge the stringent permits issued to Florence Copper by responsible regulatory agencies like the EPA and the ADEQ – appeals that the Town of Florence continues to lose.
When will enough be enough? The Town of Florence has already spent over $1.2 million dollars in legal fees on battles that all have been lost. And they are committing to spend even more at Monday’s town council meeting!
On Monday, the Town of Florence is voting on a resolution to fight an amendment to an existing Aquifer Protection Permit (APP) (No. P-101740) that Florence Copper acquired when it purchased the former BHP property. This amendment has NOTHING to do with the state and federal permits for the upcoming Production Test Facility or any future in-situ copper recovery that the town is aggressively fighting.
This APP was originally issued to a company called BHP, and as the successor to BHP’s permit, Florence Copper has on-going monitoring and reporting requirements to both ADEQ and EPA. In the 20 years since the BHP test, there has never been a violation of water quality standards. However, after over 20 years, these wells now require repairs and, in some cases, new replacement wells. Florence Copper is simply making necessary improvements on site in accordance with the law.
Sadly, this is another misguided legal challenge that Mayor Walter and the Town Council have decided to undertake, and they are going to force you to pay for it. This is real money that could be used for projects that actually benefit the residents of Florence – revitalization of Main Street, road and sign repairs, longer hours at the aquatics center, and more.
Last week, I spoke to the Council and asked them to work with us for the benefit of Florence. I also invited them all on a site tour so they could have an opportunity to learn the real facts about in-situ copper recovery. So far not one of them has accepted our invitation.
Many residents have told us they are attending this Monday’s town council meeting at 6 p.m. at the Florence Town Hall to speak during the Call to Public about the ongoing wasteful spending by this Council. I’ll be there too, and I hope you can join us.
Florence Copper, Manager of Communications
P.S. Please contact me directly anytime if you have a question about the project, the permitting process, or how you can express your opinion to the Florence Town Council. My cell number is 520-840-3106.