STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX – Thanks in part to Rep. Barbara McGuire's efforts to keep farming and rural economic development moving, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has decided to not hinder Hayden's jobs and businesses.
The EPA has decided to allow ASARCO Mine to continue to operate in Hayden because the EPA has determined that the city has not failed to meet air quality standards. McGuire, D-Kearny (District 23), took the lead on the issue. She fought to allow mines and the communities and schools they economically support from Tucson to Apache Junction to Coolidge to stay in business.
McGuire supported farming and rural economic development by opposing the EPA's planned strict regulation this year. She also gained support for her bill that removes an unnecessary roadblock for operating mines also was signed into law. HB 2133 ensures that mines throughout the state are not penalized by the EPA for weather abnormalities that lead to inaccurate readings of air pollution by the mine.
The EPA's new policy almost doubles the stringency of the standard by which dust is regulated. Many farming activities kick up dust, and the economic impact this regulation would have on farmers and rural communities in Arizona could be devastating, hindering farmers' ability to maintain production and bringing economic growth to a standstill, McGuire said.
"I am relieved and proud that Hayden will be able to continue to grow and operate during such tough economic times," McGuire said. "We need rural towns, their businesses, families and values because they are the backbone of our state's economy."