kim rego

december 16 th 2008

the honorable mr. richard elias, chairman
members of the pima county board of supervisors
130 west congress street
tucson , arizona 85701

chairman elias, members of the board,

my husband and i are residents, taxpayers and community volunteers southeast of tucson in pima county. additionally, i am a former board member and officer of the empire -fagan coalition (efc). as you know, efc and pima county have a strong history working together to preserve resources in the empire and santa rita mountains.

this sentiment was echoed in a memorandum from county administrator c.h. huckelberry (mr. huckelberry) to ms. jamie hogue, (ms. hogue deputy commissioner of the arizona state land department (asld) on january 2 nd 2007.

we have been working with a neighborhood preservation and conservation group called the empire-fagan coalition regarding this issue [arizona portland cement mining leases]. this organization is made up of area residents and has been active in sending comments to the arizona state land department regarding this and other mineral leases.

we are not sure how this path of community involvement and cohesiveness diverged in regard to the floodplain use permit for “roadway access through the davidson canyon wash to mineral lease” (davidson haul road floodplain use permit [fup]) but have high hopes that it will be returned on december 16 th 2008 at the board of supervisors meeting with a unanimous vote to revoke the davidson haul road fup.

it is understandable that the threat of a big time out of state attorney would make one feel helpless, or unsure, but we want you to know that “we have your back” as taxpayers, voters and concerned citizens. as such here is some additional information to help make this very difficult undertaking easier to decide.

on page two of the davidson haul road fup it clearly states: this permit can be revoked subject to provisions of title 16 at 16.20.060 [floodplain and erosion hazard management]

16.20.060. permit revocation

for failure to comply with the terms of the floodplain use permit, or if the permit is found to not conform to the requirements of this title or another title, state, or federal regulation, the county and the district shall be entitled to revoke the permit use permit.

1. 16.20.050 permit-denial conditions

a. no permit shall be issued for any development that is not in conformance with this title, or any other provision of the law relating to such development. a floodplain use permit may be denied if the proposed development constitutes a danger or hazard to lifer or property/

b. in making such a determination, the chief engineer shall consider the following factors:

1. the danger to life, person, or property due to flood heights, velocities or redirection of flow caused by the development....

8. the ability of conventional and emergency vehicles to access the property in times of flooding....

11. such other factors that may be relevant to the purposes of this title....

after reading the permit review information now available online from the flood control district, it is clear that permit denial conditions involving safety and emergency access were not taken into consideration for the issuance of the davidson canyon haul road fup. as such this is one reason for the revocation under 16.20.060. permit revocation and then subsequent denial under 1. 16.20.050 permit-denial conditions.

in the blm mpo az/cal portland acknowledges that the davidson may be impassable during certain times of the year and advises mine truck operators use discretion when entering flooded waters of less than 6 inches. the mpo goes on to state that cables will be kept on site to remove vehicles from the davidson, should they get stuck there or anywhere else on site.

should one get “stuck” in the davidson (or float downstream) we can only imagine the damage it would create to the important riparian area outside the 30’ permitted boundary of the haul road to remove it.

please view the attached photos to see a small private crossing of the davidson during a flood and then a dry time. the construction equipment shown has been swept away during one flooding incident already. fortunately it was caught on a sand bar downstream.

new information: regarding ability to access the property in times of flooding by emergency vehicles. please see the attached memo from the corona de tucson fire chief regarding emergency services in the area.

other dangers to property. the davidson canyon haul fup plan minimizes a 50’ road to a 30’ to avoid appearing in front of the pima county board for approval under chapter 16.30. this will require trucks to idle on either side of the wash in (our opinion) a mismapped ira while waiting for trucks to cross single file. this causes potential for more erosion and oil leaks to the davidson, and air pollution.

other required permits:

d. the chief engineer shall review the proposed development to assure that all necessary permits have been requested from those governmental agencies from which approval is required by federal or state law.

according to the information online at the flood control district, this was also an area of strong concern and was requested many times. in january of 2008, according to a letter written on april 21 2008 from evan canfield, chief hydrologist, planning and development division, pima county (evan canfield), arizona portland cement withdrew its application for the section 404 of the clean water act. there is no current application after the withdrawal, just a letter from apc’s attorney to marjorie blaine of the army corps of engineers stating his client’s opinion on the matter.

although there is also email correspondence included in the file between floodplain staff and county on the historic interpretation of the ordinance, it is not the literal interpretation which is that it must be requested. at this apc has not requested the necessary permits as required under floodplain and erosion hazard management and therefore the board must vote to revoke as allowed under 16.20.060. permit revocation.

bureau of land management:

as of november 2008, apc had not submitted the necessary information for the environmental assessment to the tucson field office and bureau of land management.

the information submitted in the stormwater pollution prevention plan (swppp), submitted to pima county flood control district (district) in compliance with section 402, states the following.

the project is an expansion of an inactive quarry and the development of a new quarry on federal claims and arizona state mineral leases…the roadway portion will encompass 15.48 acres. [page 4 psomas job no. 07232-01-1111]

the flood plain use permit issued on july 29 th 2008 has been issued for “mineral lease.” the swppp clearly shows a developed mine on the federal claims.

the davidson canyon haul road fup is clearly intended to be used for both the arizona state leases and the federal claims, of which apc has not requested the required analysis on the environmental assessment at the time of the issuance of the floodplain use permit.

state of arizona: 404 certification:

has the state of arizona received a request to certify the 404 permit since they have not yet requested the required individual permit? will it do so?

adeq general construction permit

apc has been granted a permit to discharge under the arizona pollutant discharge elimination system program (azpdes) program, only for construction activities, not mining. there is a separate industrial permit required for that at a later date.

i respectfully ask you to look at the permit standards/regulations denoted above, consider the comments that have been submitted to your offices and the testimony made by your constituents at the 12/16/08 board of supervisors meeting and to consider the boards’ past efforts to protect the davidson canyon and the watershed.

ask yourselves; ‘is the issuance of this flood plain use permit within parameters of the above? does the issuance of the flood plain use permit further the protection of the davidson canyon? the answer is a resounding ‘no.’ i also would like to reiterate the communities’ willingness to participate in dialog with the county. there are many individuals as well as organizations in this area. i request to be on an email list for issues and concerns that affect this important region.


kim rego

encl: davidson wash crossing pictures
          letter from corona de tucson fire department

site where haul road will cross davidson canyon

site of crossing after rain storm


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