Letter: Perplexed by opposition to Florence Copper Project - East Valley Tribune: Letters To The Editor

Letter: Perplexed by opposition to Florence Copper Project

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Posted: Monday, February 4, 2013 8:01 am

In 2010 my wife and I purchased a home in San Tan Valley. We also own a home in Anchorage, Alaska. We would like to see environmentally responsible economic development in the East Valley to provide head-of-household salary jobs along with dollars that can be used to improve and expand public infrastructure, schools, etc.

We recently toured the Florence Copper Project and are perplexed by the opposition of the City of Florence to allowing the project to use existing infrastructure to perform small-scale, tightly monitored testing of the copper recovery technology (fascinating!) to determine if it can be accomplished with an extremely high degree of safety.

Instead, the City is requiring the test to disturb new parcels of land and construct facilities and a settling pond closer to and within eyesight of Hunt Highway.

In Anchorage I am the Vice Chair of the city’s Urban Design Commission where we review site development and landscaping plans and either approve with conditions or deny plans if they don’t meet design criteria. As an aesthetic matter, not to mention economics, we generally try to leave existing land undisturbed if possible with pleasing views and landscape buffers to make the city more attractive.

If the test project can survive the permitting process, it just doesn’t seem to make sense — at least to us — why the city would demand what appears to be the least optimal path in terms of landscape planning. Why not allow the use of existing facilities?

Steve Pratt

San Tan Valley

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