Attorney General Mayes Issues Statement on Fondomonte Leases

PHOENIX – Attorney General Mayes issued the following statement on Governor Hobbs decision to terminate and not renew Fondomonte’s leases in Butler Valley:

I commend Governor Hobbs for taking action against Fondomonte's default on their Butler Valley lease in Western Arizona, and for deciding to not renew the company's additional Butler Valley leases. This decision to protect Arizona's precious groundwater resources and uphold the integrity of our state land trust is a good step in the right direction for the future of Arizona. However, we must take additional steps to urgently protect Arizona's water resources – especially in rural Arizona.

The Arizona Attorney General's Office worked closely with Governor Hobbs' administration on these inspections, which confirmed what we have suspected – Fondomonte has been in violation of its leases for many years.

And while today's announcement is commendable, it should have been taken by state government much earlier. The failure to act sooner underscores the need for greater oversight and accountability in the management of our state's most vital resource.

It has been long evident to Arizonans across our state that these leases never should have been signed in the first place. The decision by the prior administration to allow foreign corporations to stick straws in the ground and pump unlimited amounts of groundwater to export alfalfa is scandalous.