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Broad coalition forms against uranium mining / January 07, 2013
RICHMOND — Growing statewide opposition to lifting the ban on uranium mining and milling was highlighted at a press conference held today at the Virginia State Capitol by a newly-created coalition,,

The CommonHealthVA group claims a diverse membership representing a cross section of public and private interests in Virginia. was created as a vehicle to highlight the bi-partisan, multi-regional, pro-business, pro-health and pro-environment opposition to any change in the Commonwealth’s 30 year common sense ban on uranium mining and milling in Virginia.

Senator Frank Ruff (R-Mecklenburg), in his opening remarks, declared that “We believe the ban on mining and milling in Virginia must be maintained, and any legislative effort to lift the ban must be defeated."

Ruff also made note of the breadth of support to keep the ban on uranium mining in place. “Jurisdictions from Tidewater to Roanoke have enacted resolutions to maintain the Ban. In Northern Virginia, the Fairfax Water Authority has taken a similar position. Local pro-business, pro-economic development organizations like the Danville-Pittsylvania Chamber of Commerce and the Halifax Chamber of Commerce have each expressed strong opposition to removing the ban on uranium mining. Even the state’s largest Farm organization, the Virginia Farm Bureau, has recognized the potential threat to Virginia’s agricultural and forest industries and is supportive of maintaining the ban," said Ruff.

Orange County farmer Bill Speiden, whose property also contains a significant uranium deposit in that region of the state, spoke out strongly against removing the ban on uranium mining. Speiden expressed concerned about the dangerous radioactive by-product of uranium mining called “tailings”.

“I saw giant pits being excavated and large pools of…waste tailings,” said Speiden who visited active mine sites in the western part of the U.S. “I am concerned that an accident or human error could create a spill that would be carried downstream for miles”.

In concluding remarks, Delegate Danny Marshall (R-Danville) explained the importance of the broad support from other regions of Virginia to maintain the ban on uranium mining and milling. “A sizable majority of the citizens and businesses in our area do not want the ban lifted”, Marshall said. “We appreciate the support of over 17,000 Virginians from all parts of the Commonwealth who have already expressed their support for keeping the ban on uranium mining in place."

The group held the Richmond press conference on the same day that the Virginia Coal and Energy Commission is slated to meet to discuss legislation to regulate the mining and milling of uranium in Virginia.

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Fine. Keep the moratorium. But if you don't want the skilled-pay jobs the uranium mine will bring, find something else that will create comparable jobs. This area can't sit on its hands forever, and none of the local governments can afford to continue bribing corporations to locate here using the tobacco settlement money.

As I've pointed out before, it's not like the stuff isn't already being safely processed 50 miles north of us.

I still say if any of the big-name uranium detractors stood to make a dollar off this resource they'd be on it like a duck on a June bug.

At least some people around here "get" what the stigma of this area REALLY is.


Not sure what you are talking about but there are no uranium mines 50 miles north of us.


There aren't. But Lynchburg is home to Areva and B&W Nuclear. They process the stuff there.

From B&W Nuclear's own website: "The Lynchburg facility is one of only two private U.S. facilities licensed to possess and process highly enriched uranium."

What's next from the Halifax backwater? mass protests in the streets of Lynchburg? There's a reason Lynchburg is in better shape economically than we are.

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