UPDATE: As of January 31, 2013, Senator Watkins' bills - SB 1353 on regulations and SB 919 on a severance tax - have both been pulled at the request of the patron. We see this as a victory for Keeping the Ban, but know that we must stay vigilant. The House versions are still limping along, and there may be other maneuvers to try to push legislation through this session, but we are very excited about this turn of events!
For 2013, we are finally seeing legislation being pushed on Uranium Mining in the Commonwealth, including SB 919/HB 1804 on a severance tax and SB 1353/HB 2330 on drafting regulations. It is the position of Virginia Interfaith Power & Light and the environmental community to OPPOSE both of these sets of legislation. In some recent, exciting news, the Board of Supervisors of Pittsylvania County - the location of the proposed mine site - have finally made their voice heard and passed a resolution supporting Keeping the Ban.
There are obviously a lot of moving parts on this issue, so please make sure to sign up for our email alerts to keep updated, as well as following us on Facebook and Twitter.
The Virginia Interfaith Center and Interfaith Power & Light has launched a state-wide effort mobilizing the faith community to keep the ban on uranium mining and milling in Virginia.
We are working to keep the ban to protect our water, health, and local economies. Opening our Commonwealth's fields, valleys, and water supplies to this kind of experimental mining would benefit a few individuals, while risking the health, safety, and prosperity of millions of Virginians.
Click below to learn more about:
Risks to Water
Risks to Health
Risks to Local Economies
What's the risk?
Currently, there is a statewide moratorium on the mining of uranium, the milling of yellowcake, and the disposal of radioactive waste in Virginia. This ban has been in effect for nearly 30 years and the proposed project would allow uranium mining and milling to take place in Pittsylvania County. Mining this site alone could generate up to 28 million tons of mill tailings, waste, and polluted water.
2012 Legislative Update
There was no legislation during the 2012 General Assembly to lift the moratorium, this is a victory for 2012. The National Academy of Science's study was recently released, validating concerns and questions about uranium mining in Virginia.
Virginia Interfaith Power & Light is working with faith leaders, businesses, non-profits, local governments, and community members who hope to maintain this ban on uranium mining in Virginia to protect our water, health, and economy.
Click here to find out more about why uranium mining poses such a threat to the Roanoke River, which provides water to more than 1 million people for drinking, farming, fishing, and boating.
What can you do?
Learn more about our "Keep the Ban" coalition here. Contact us if you are interested in joining or organizing a community meeting in your area!
In the media:
Uranium Mining in Virginia Takes a Step
Clearing up some misconceptions of uranium mining study
Bi-State Commission on the Roanoke River Votes to Keep Virginia's Uranium Mining Moratorium in Place Until 2013
The New York Times - Va. Becomes Ground Zero for Uranium Mining Efforts
Group urges delay for Va. uranium mine
Virginia Against Uranium Mining blog