Friday, March 18, 2011

New ADEQ director talks about mining, groundwater, climate change

An interview with Henry Darwin, the recently appointed director of the Arizona Dept. of Environmental Quality, is published in the Willcox Range News. Henry is quoted saying, "I think our highest overall priority is preparing ADEQ for the practical reality of economic growth. Mining, in particular, has turned around and they are talking about expansion. We need to be able to prevent long term environmental harm by being prepared to issue permits and do inspections and not just rubber stamp permits. We're not an impediment to growth but we need to use our resources and expertise for environmental protection."

In response to a question about contaminants discharged into dry washes getting into the groundwater, he said,
"our strongest tool to protect Arizona groundwater where there is no surface water is our Aquifer Protection Permit (APP) program that we've applied since the mid-1980s"

He also described climate change, as "a very important issue that shouldn't be regulated through the existing Clean Air Act, but in Congress. I do think there is a need to do something quickly and I'm not suggesting we should wait years. I think Arizona may be poised to benefit from greenhouse gas reductions as we focus on renewable energy development in the state."

There's more in the full interview.

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