Friday, May 8, 2009

Water Safety & Quality of Life Dominate Lake Gaston Concerns

VUI now knows, and is telling others, that "the bedrock in that area is so close to the surface there would be relatively no effect on groundwater" in the Dan River basin by uranium mining at Coles Hill. Interesting. But is it true? Can we see their research?

by Della Batts, Daily Herald Staff Writer
Published/Last Modified on Friday, May 8, 2009

LAKE GASTON — A flurry of activities involving the safety of the community and continued value of Lake Gaston was on the minds of folks attending the May meeting of the Lake Gaston Association. President John Cataldo reported North Carolina Senate Bill 43, concerning mandatory boater education, passed second and third readings in the Senate this week and transferred to the House.

Former Director Pete Deschenes said there were some changes in the wording before the bill would pass. The changes mean that anyone over the age of 25 at the time the bill becomes law, is considered a safe boater. They will not be required to take boater safety classes. “I think this weakens the bill tremendously,” said Deschenes. “But if you go by the hunters education laws, it reduced accidents by 25 percent, so if it works the same, I’ll be happy.”

Executive Director Moira Underwood reported sending a letter to CH2M Hill, consulting firm for the Kerr Lake Regional Water System, declaring the LGA’s opposition to their proposed interbasin water transfer.

Director Vernon Wilson attended meetings to discuss possible uranium mining in the Dan River (upper Roanoke River) in Pittsylvania County, Va., by Virginia Uranium, Inc.
There were major concerns that mining efforts might contaminate the aquifer and the river downstream. Wilson said he was pleased to discover the bedrock in that area is so close to the surface there would be relatively no effect on groundwater. However, he wasn’t so pleased with the “radiological effects of the runoff” report.

Wilson said the report focused more on the laws and what they allow, and not on the possible effects. No uranium mining can occur until Virginia allows the creation of a regulatory framework and an associated permitting process is complete. It is anticipated this could take several years.

Virginia Uranium will employ 300 to 500 people with average income of around $68,000 per year, according to a comparison to Nevada miners. Unemployment in Pittsylvania County is currently double the state average. Wilson said other organizations voiced their opinions on the mining possibilities at the meeting. For more information on this issue visit

The LGA is receiving a $2,500 grant, through Friends of Lake Gaston Association, from Halifax County to present a public forum on clean water and the effects of storm water runoff. Directors said they believe education on what’s being put into the river basin could help with curbing pollution and help with preserving the natural environment.

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