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ADEQ Public Hearing re: Copper World draft Aquifer Protection Permit
ADEQ Public Hearing re: Copper World draft Aquifer Protection Permit

Tue, Feb 20



ADEQ Public Hearing re: Copper World draft Aquifer Protection Permit

This will be the only public meeting where you can ask questions and where ADEQ staff can respond. Please come if you can. It’s important to have as many people there as possible to show ADEQ that you care about what they are doing.

Time & Location

Feb 20, 2024, 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM

Vail, 16705 S Houghton Rd, Vail, AZ 85641, USA

About the event

The head of the Aquifer Protection Program and other staff will be present at this public meeting. ADEQ will make a presentation and then answer questions. 

SSSR is stepping up. SSSR has contracted with a mining engineer and two hydrologists who are reviewing the draft permit to see whether the environmental protections in the permit will be adequate. We expect to have preliminary results of their review to share with you over the weekend so you can use their information to help form your own questions at Tuesday’s meeting.

If you would like to help with some of the payments we’re making to the experts, please click here.

As you think about what you might say or ask at the meeting, please remember that ADEQ will only consider comments focused on the substance of the permit and does not consider things like whether someone is for or against the mine or whether the mine is a good or bad idea.

Background: Hudbay has applied to ADEQ for an Aquifer Protection Permit that will allow mining to go forward so long as the company takes certain steps prescribed by ADEQ to safeguard public water. ADEQ has released a draft of the permit that it proposes to grant Hudbay.

Here is a link to ADEQ’s webpage that has both the draft permit and an executive summary of the permit. Here is a link to the page where you can submit your own comments. You may submit more than one comment at different times, so if you think of something else to say later, you can.

We are now in a 61-day period where the public can review and submit comments on the permit. The comment period ends March 11, 2024. This is a very tight window to review such a complicated, technical document and to make substantive comments. We need to figure out whether the provisions in the permit adequately safeguard your health and water. Will they?

SSSR will be submitting formal comments on your behalf when the experts have reviewed the APP. But we also will be calling on you again soon to submit individual comments. Don’t worry; we don’t expect you all to digest this technical document. We will provide you with the points you’ll need in your comments so that you can let ADEQ know that they’ve got to protect your air and water.

Terminology: ADEQ’s notice of the meeting reproduced below is a bit confusing because it mentions the Aquifer Protection Program, which is abbreviates as “APP,” and then it references the “draft individual ADEQ APP for Copper World Inc.” I spoke with our ADEQ’s community liaison who told me that the program is abbreviated APP and the Aquifer Protection Permit is also abbreviated APP. To avoid confusion, when SSSR talks about the APP, we’re always referencing the permit. We call the program by its full name.

ADEQ will hold a formal “hearing,” on March 5 6-8pm, at the same location as the February 20th meeting (Corona Foothills Middle School). The public can make comments at this formal hearing, but the ADEQ staff cannot answer them. So, if you want to get answers, please come to Tuesday’s meeting on the 20th.


Thanks to the many of you who asked the Arizona Departmentof Environmental Quality to extend the 50-day comment period for Hudbay’s draft Aquifer Protection Permit (APP). We all asked for a comment period of at least 180 days because 50 days is much too little for our group and the public to review this highly technical document.

Thanks to your letters, we got an 11-day extension that we’ve used to enlist the expert hydrologists who will be reviewing the draft permit and helping us point out flaws. Our experts’ first impressions are that there are many ways the permit isn’t up to snuff. Also, we have filed an additional formal request to ADEQ for a longer extension so we and our experts can do the best job possible in reviewing the draft permit.

Rob Peters, Executive Director, SSSR

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