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FLORENCE COUNCIL PUBLISHES MISLEADING INFORMATION
The Council has just authorized the publication of deliberately misleading information about Florence Copper on the Town’s website.
The people of Florence deserve better. They deserve the truth.
In their most recent media release the Council says they are acting “to ensure a safe supply of drinking water.” But that is not what they are doing.
The people protecting the Town’s water are the scientists and regulators at the Arizona Department of Water Quality (ADEQ) and the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). They are the ones that are competent and technically qualified to do so.They have the legislative obligation to protect the drinking water, and they have the legal tools to do so.
The Town Council has none of those things, yet they recklessly interfere in the work of ADEQ and EPA through wasteful, ill-informed legal intervention.
Over the past ten years the Town has been involved in seven lawsuits, each one meant to discourage or stop Florence Copper. For them, it has never been about protecting the water, it has always been about stopping Florence Copper.
In each of those lawsuits, the Town presented their evidence in Administrative Hearings, Superior Court, and in the Court of Appeals. Each time the weight of evidence and argument put forward by the Town’s legal team was carefully considered. And each time, the court ruled against them.
- Challenge of the Temporary Aquifer Protection Permit (TAPP) program (2 rulings)
- Challenge of the TAPP permit (3 rulings) – Superior Court awarded $145,242 in costs and legal fees in favor of Florence Copper and $138,000 to ADEQ, and now, Court of Appeals has awarded costs and legal fees to Florence Copper and ADEQ
- Challenge of the UIC permit (2 rulings)
- Sulfuric acid ordinance (1 ruling)
- Closing the office building (1 ruling) -- Town had to pay $100,000 in damages to Florence Copper
- Eminent domain claim (1 ruling) – Court awarded $1,735,000 in costs and legal fees in favor of Florence Copper
- Declaratory judgment (1 ruling)
Those rulings went in favor of Florence Copper and in support of our science. The court decisions are validation of the work that we and the agencies have done to protect water. The decisions support the approach we have taken, and the decisions made by the technically qualified professionals at the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) and the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
It has been a costly ten years for the Town, at the hands of the Council.
Given this record of repeated failures, why does the Council persist in wasting millions of public dollars?
Why does Council continue to throw your tax dollars at this? It’s not to protect the water. That job is being done by others, by those who actually know how to do it.
The Council has not been alone in their legal misadventures. Southwest Value Partners (SWVP), a real-estate investment firm, has been with them every step of the way. Why?
What is the relationship between SWVP and the Town of Florence? Is it appropriate? Whose interests is the Town serving?
It is all part of the story that the Town Council and their new website isn’t telling you. Maybe they don’t want you to know.
Our CEO Russell Hallbauer has said, mining is a technically complex business. He did not say the technique being used by Florence Copper is “unproven” as Council wrongly suggests.
Our work is done through the expertise of engineers and hydrogeologists, and qualified by environmental experts from a wide range of scientific disciplines.
This is not something we play at, nor is it a part-time hobby. This is serious disciplined work that takes place around the clock and undertaken only by those specifically educated, trained, and qualified to do so.
The Town Council has been reckless both in its approach and with the tax dollars entrusted with them by the residents of Florence.
Here are more facts the Council is not telling you:
- Florence Copper has the legal right to mine on its property.
- Floence Copper spent $20 million to build a Production Test Facility (PTF) to prove the environmental safety and efficacy of in-situ copper minin
- The PTF has operated for more than a year, successfully and in full compliance with the law and its obligations.It is a proven technology.
“The project is ‘probably the most monitored 20 acres” [ADEQ] has ever seen in the APP program.”
Judge Patricia Starr, Maricopa County Superior Court Judge, citing testimony from ADEQ’s lead permit writer.
Florence Copper has created 37 direct, high paying jobs in Florence. Once Florence Copper advances to commercial operations, the project will create 170 direct jobs and close to 500 direct and indirect jobs for the area.
The current combined payroll and purchasing of goods and services by Florence Copper totals close to $8 million annually. The project brings jobs, revenues, and economic activity to Florence.
Commercial production at Florence Copper will mean $200 million in new capital construction here in Florence.
Here is a web page that includes the items the Council conveniently left out.Visit florencecopper.com/get-the-facts if you want to read the actual court decisions.
As always, if I can assist you in anyway, feel free to get in touch with me here at 520-316-3713.
Stacy Gramazio, Manager of Communications & Public Affairs