Aquifer Protection Permit, BHP Billiton Pinto Valley Operations, EEC

Between 2006 and 2007, ACS provided regulatory and technical review services to EEC for completion of two amendments to the area-wide Aquifer Protection Permit (APP) for the BHP Billiton Pinto Valley Copper Mine near Miami, Arizona. BHP requested and was granted expedited processing for the APP amendments under the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality’s (ADEQ’s) expedited APP program. EEC was the prime contractor selected by ADEQ to review BHP’s applications and write the permits for the Alert Level and the Gold Gulch amendments. ACS participated in all phases of the program including project meetings with EEC, ADEQ, and BHP personnel. ACS’ tasks for this project included regulatory, hydrogeology, and BADCT reviews of the applications, a review of the APP history of the mine, a review of APP-exempt facilities, a review of all discharging facilities, a review of pit lake hydrology, and assistance with writing and reviewing the fact sheets and permit amendments. Working on the Expedited APP program requires an in-depth knowledge of the APP statutes, regulations, and permit process and inherent to the Program is the requirement that all phases of application and permit processing must be completed with strict adherence to ADEQ’s Licensing Time Frame (LTF) regulations.