Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Uranium Mining Study Under Way

The uranium-mining study is under way with public safety and the health impact No. 1 in the revised study statement of tasks.

The Virginia Coal and Energy Commission’s Uranium Mining Subcommittee revised the study’s final draft Thursday in Richmond, moving public safety and the health impact from No. 7 on the statement to No. 1.

The uranium subcommittee approved the study document in an 8-2 vote with Delegate Watkins Abbitt, I-59th District, and Delegate William Janis, R-56th District, opposing.

A moratorium on uranium mining is currently in effect in Virginia.

Virginia Uranium Inc. wants to mine a large ore deposit in Pittsylvania County located about six miles northeast of Chatham at Coles Hill.

Uranium mining opponents were vocal at the subcommittee meeting Thursday.

Katie Whitehead, chairman of the Dan River Basin Association Mining Task Force, speaking on behalf of DRBA, called for changes in the study’s scope as well as specific task amendments at the Richmond meeting.

“I think the National Academy will give us reliable information, a way to look at the big picture and the complexity and will point to areas where additional information is needed,” said Whitehead.

However, Whitehead emphasized, “The need for amendments to clarify what the study will and will not do were not included.”

(emphases mine...SB)

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