Virginia Conservation Network works on a broad range of environmental issues all across the state, but never have I seen such an issue galvanize people like the prospect of uranium mining,” said director Nathan Lott. ”Black and white, urban and rural, Republican and Democrat - Virginians agree that mining is just too risky.”
Citizens expressed deep concerns about the potential contamination of water sources in the Roanoke River watershed
Citizens pack General Assembly offices to voice opposition to uranium mining,Star Tribune, January 23, 2012 RICHMOND – Citizens from across the state converged in the Capitol Monday to call on their elected representatives in the General Assembly to keep Virginia’s 30-year ban on uranium mining.
Following significant warnings from the National Academy of Sciences, the ban will now remain in place for 2012. Citizens are seeking to make that victory permanent.
To highlight their message, they offered legislators “yellowcake” cupcakes with the message: “These yellow cakes are not harmful – but making uranium yellowcake and leaving behind radioactive waste in Virginia is. Protect our health, our
heritage and our future. Keep the Ban on Uranium Mining in Virginia.” Also, the Keep the Ban Coalition announced that over the last year, more than 10,000 citizens have signed an online petition or sent emails to Virginia legislators urging them to keep the ban, and 102 organizations and government entities – from the cities of Virginia Beach, Norfolk and Roanoke to the state chapter of the NAACP and Halifax County Chamber of Commerce – have either passed a resolution or taken other action expressing deep concerns about impacts that would result from lifting the ban.
“Virginia Conservation Network works on a broad range of environmental issues all across the state, but never have I seen such an issue galvanize people like the prospect of uranium mining,” said director
Nathan Lott. ”Black and white, urban and rural, Republican and Democrat - Virginians agree that mining is just too risky.”
Citizens expressed deep concerns about the potential contamination of water sources in the Roanoke River watershed from the proposed Coles
Hill uranium mining and milling operation in Pittsylvania County, and
from the potential of leaking or failure of the long-term uranium
waste storage facilities due to hurricanes and other natural
They also expressed concern about the economic impact of uranium
contamination economic losses could be as great as $11 billion,
according to a study by Chmura Analysis and Analytics.
In light of Gov. Bob McDonnell’s announcement last week that several
agencies will prepare a “regulatory framework” for uranium mining to
present to the 2013 General Assembly, citizens raised concerns with
the legislators about how the process will be funded, and what other
types of programs may get cut in order to develop such a framework.
They also said the governor’s task force must adhere to public
participation standards that are required in all state rule-making
processes and not operate behind closed doors.Citizens reminded
legislators that the National Academy of Sciences engagement on the
issue won’t be complete until at least May, with the intervening time
being used to explain the report’s conclusion to legislators and
concerned citizens, community by community.
The information from this public outreach should inform the decision
on whether to spend the commonwealth’s tight resources on this
potential project, groups said.