Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The [Pittsylvania Co] Board Takes a Big Step

Yet another excellent letter ...

To the editor:

On Feb. 17, the Pittsylvania County Board of Supervisors unanimously passed a resolution setting forth a zero tolerance standard for negative impacts from uranium mining in Pittsylvania County. That resolution signals a new attitude on the part of the supervisors. It seems that they are finally beginning to realize the seriousness of the highly questionable prospect that Virginia Uranium Inc. has brought to the table.

They should have taken this step much sooner, but the fact that they passed this resolution at all is reason enough to congratulate them — Chatham-Blairs Supervisor Hank Davis in particular — for standing up to VUI and establishing a precedent of allowing no room for error if uranium mining should proceed. The resolution will send a strong message not only to the uranium study group, but also to the legislators in Richmond.

VUI contends that they, too, want uranium mining to happen without harm to the public or to the environment.

But they are wishing for something that cannot be, because they are limited to mining practices (namely, open pit mining) that have never been done without severe environmental consequences as well as inevitable negative impact on the health of people living within 30 miles or so of such mines.

VUI claims to have knowledge of “new technologies” that would make their mine different from those in other places. But they have not been able to put a name on those new technologies, nor have they been able to cite even one place where uranium has been mined safely. They cannot, because safe uranium mines do not exist anywhere.

VUI has given us no solid reason to believe that uranium mining at Coles Hill would be anything but one huge experiment, with the residents of Pittsylvania County and Southside serving as their lab rats. And so I say, “congratulations” to the Pittsylvania County Board of Supervisors for deciding that uranium mining might not really be the wonderful thing VUI would have us believe. This resolution is definitely a step in the right direction.


Halifax County

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