Local Legislators Speak Out Against Uranium Mining
January 4, 2012
The Virginian-Pilot reports, "Legislators representing districts that encircle a uranium deposit in Southside Virginia are asking their colleagues to abandon any effort in the 2012 session to end the state's 30-year ban on mining the radioactive ore." The article specifically mentions that, "Del. Donald Merricks, whose district includes Pittsylvania County, said he's read the NAS report and others focusing on socio-economic issues and he's still not convinced the mining and the extraction of ore from rock can be achieved without a threat to the environment or the economy."
Progressive Point: Legislators near the proposed uranium mine have made it clear--for the safety of Virginia we must keep the ban on uranium mining. Five legislators, whose constituents live in the proposed impact area, have told their fellow members of the General Assembly that keeping the ban is essential to protecting our communities and the Commonwealth's environment.
These legislators are motivated by concern for their constituents and localities. They know the risks created by removing the ban are far too great and outweigh any possible benefit. This upcoming legislative session, all of Virginia's elected representatives must listen to their colleagues who live closest to the risk and keep the ban on uranium mining. These local legislators have made it clear--its not worth the risk to Virginia's families or our environment.
Get the Facts:
- Del. Donald Merricks, Del. Danny Marshall III, Del. James Edmunds, Del. Tommy Wright, and Sen. Frank Ruff all said in a letter to Virginia's General Assembly that the risk of uranium mining to the people of Virginia and its environment is too great and that the ban should not be lifted. (Virginian-Pilot, January 3, 2012)
- A recent NAS study validated the concern that a flood, hurricane, or earthquake could result in an uncontrolled release at a uranium facility--all three of which Virginia has experienced this year. (Cale Jaffe, senior attorney, Southern Environmental Law Center, Keep the Ban, December 19, 2011)