Officials at the Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy say they will be mobilizing activists across the state to lobby the General Assembly to continue a moratorium on uranium mining in the state.And what about the review of existing data some skittish General Assembly members say they're waiting for before making any decisions?
Trieste Lockwood, director of the group’s power and light program, said that mining could harm drinking water, residents’ health and the economy by damaging agricultural, tourism and fishing industries if there is an accident.
Tests indicate that about 119 million pounds of uranium are located in Coles Hill, near Chatham, a small town in Pittsylvania County. A company pushing to mine the uranium, Virginia Uranium, says that it could be worth as much as $10 billion.
“The financial gain of one corporation is really simply not worth the longterm risks to so many people,” Lockwood said.
“We do not believe an unbiased study exists that suggests uranium is no longer radioactive and no longer has severe health consequences," she said.For more on why Virginia's uranium mining ban is just as necessary today as it was when first implemented decades ago, check out KeepTheBan.org or read this excellent article by the Virginia Sierra Club's Mary Rafferty.