Debate over the Copper World mining project came to head again Tuesday night at the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality’s public meeting, where people spoke out for and against the project.

“We need copper, there’s no way around it,” said Mark Davis, member of Arizona Mining and Industry Get Our Support (A.M.I.G.O.S.)

“We must safeguard the purity and the quantity of our water against irresponsible mineral development,” said Andrea Hoerr, Tucson Co-Leader of Great Old Broads for Wilderness.

The meeting lasted for two hours at Corona Foothills Middle School Tuesday.

The meeting was to discuss an Aquifer Protection Permit, which, if approved, would get Hudbay one step closer to getting the project started.

And Davis says the project would be a big boost for the economy.

The company I am a part of plans to hire several people with copper world is built just as we’ve added over 15 good paying jobs to grow with Arizona’s mines over the last 13 years,” said Davis. “Hundreds of other A.M.I.G.O.S. member companies big and small will hire to support copper world just as we will offer 1000s of good jobs with good benefits to make strong families and stable communities possible.

While Hoerr says they need to consider the environmental impact before making decisions.

Arizona’s laws are weak, the environmental components should and must be considered as having equal standing to a couple of jobs.

Hudbay also released a statement to KGUN9:

“Hudbay recognizes the importance of public engagement in the permitting process. We value constructive feedback and input from all stakeholders, including local communities, environmental groups, and regulatory authorities. Hudbay appreciates the significant community support for Copper World, as revealed by a recent poll conducted by the Tucson Chamber last fall. When given a description of the project and its location, more than half of voters support the development of the Copper World project (53.6% in support, 36.9% oppose). Southern Arizonans recognize the substantial economic benefits the project will offer, while also safeguarding the environment for future generations.”

The next stop for the Aquifer permit is April 10, which is the deadline for public comments to be submitted to ADEQ.