News Ticker

Appeals Court Ruling Favors Florence Copper Permit

Photo Credit: Florence Copper Inc.

Source: Florence Reminder & Blade-Tribune

The state environmental agency and Florence Copper won a victory in the Arizona Court of Appeals when the court agreed with the trial court that the agency has the authority to grant the company a temporary permit for a test run of the Florence Copper Project.

The Temporary Aquifer Protection Permit (“APP”) program has been in place for more than a decade, “and serves a valid purpose of protecting aquifers while allowing homes, industry and agriculture to put our water supplies to beneficial use,” Rita Maguire, Florence Copper executive vice president and general counsel said by email in response to a request for comment last week.

The appeals court ruling upheld the lower court’s dismissal of a suit brought in 2013 by Southwest Value Partners, Johnson Utilities, Pulte Homes and the Town of Florence against the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ).

The plaintiffs argued that ADEQ had exceeded its statutory authority to issue the Temporary APP even though the program has been in place for more than a decade and the agency has issued a number of these permits, Maguire said.

ADEQ granted the temporary permit to Florence Copper in the summer of 2013, but the testing phase has not begun while the company awaits a similar permit from the EPA.

Meanwhile, the EPA announced a comment period and public hearing for its permit. The EPA’s public hearing is set for 7-10 p.m. Jan. 22 at Florence High School. An open house will precede the public hearing from 4-6 p.m.

Read more at Florence Reminder & Blade-Tribune