The Following are excerpts from an article on Slate.com from Jan. 10, 2013. This article was posted before the bill that would lift the ban on uranium mining was pulled from the Labor and Commerce Committee by its promoter Sen. John Watkins. Also before the public was made aware that there was a set of bills moving through the VA legislature that would pave the way for regulations to be written for mining uranium. Ugly indeed.
If Virginia dumps the mining ban, it will be taking a big step into uncharted territory. The state has no experience regulating uranium mining or milling, although a recent government panel did make up a list of what must be done to regulate the industry. The chore would take several years and involve hiring 30 new professionals to monitor drinking water, groundwater, labor conditions, and air pollution.
Adding to concerns, Virginia Uranium plans on storing radioactive tailings from its milling operations at the farm. The underground storage areas would not be far from groundwater, and the creeks and streams in the area flow into a lake complex on the Virginia-North Carolina border that is used for drinking water. Some local residents fear what uranium-tainted dust or smoke might do to their homes. Others have placed green signs on their land stating: “I dig uranium. It’s about jobs.” Full Story