Emails show mining industry, home-builders pushed for changes in AZ water bill — and got them

By Ian James | Arizona Republic

Newly released emails reveal that lawyers and lobbyists for mining companies, developers and the agriculture industry had a hand behind the scenes in shaping Arizona’s newly adopted law on clean-water rules for rivers and streams.

The emails show the involvement of these influential groups went beyond their public endorsements of the legislation. Their lawyers and lobbyists were given access to offer input while the final legislation was being drafted, and the emails show they suggested specific language, offered “wordsmithing” tweaks and requested significant changes that state officials incorporated into the bill.

The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality released more than 400 emails in response to a request by The Arizona Republic under the state’s public records law.

In the emails, which were written and sent in January and February, lawyers and other representatives of industry groups outlined detailed proposals for changes and state officials responded by adopting revisions.

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