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Ruff: Senate ag panel poised to kill bill to lift mining ban

SoVaNow.com / January 28, 2013
BY MARY BETH JACKSON
Danville Register & Bee staff writer
Reprinted with permission


When the Pittsylvania County Board of Supervisors passed its resolution Wednesday to urge legislators to keep the moratorium on uranium mining, Chairman Marshall Ecker expressed concern about its timing.

“I’m hoping we are not too late,” Ecker said. “Decisions are being made now.”

Delegate Danny Marshall, R-Danville, says it was right on time.

“I don’t think the timing could have been better,” he said.

Southside’s politicians have been scurrying to make the county’s wishes known to their companions in the House of Delegates and state Senate.

Marshall said he distributed copies of the story in Thursday’s Danville Register & Bee (“Supervisors: Keep the ban”) to House legislators. Delegate Don Merricks, R-Pittsylvania County, said Thursday that his office was readying copies of the newest resolution for distribution in the House and Senate.

“I think it definitely sends a message to everybody that people need to take notice,” Merricks said. “I think it confirms, too, the questions and issues that are there are still there. I’m not out here on a tangent.”

Merricks is hoping other legislators will put themselves in his shoes and heed the concerns of Pittsylvania County residents.

“What if it was their locality and their place?” he said.

State Sen. Frank Ruff, R-Clarksville, said he was glad to see it, but he was prepared to make a case without it. Ruff is a member of the Senate Agriculture, Conservation and Natural Resources Committee, which is hearing the uranium mining bill Thursday, where he expects it to be killed.

“It’s nice to have that, but I think we already had the votes we needed,” he said.

Jackson reports for the Danville Register & Bee.

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