Virginia Uranium Mining Ban Remains in Place
Efforts to lift the ban on uranium mining have been given up amid concerns of future uranium contamination.
A bill addressing Virginia’s ban on uranium mining has been withdrawn under the expectation of failure, just prior to state Senate voting. The bill, backed by Republican Sen. John C. Watkins, would have allowed a company to mine an estimated $7 billion in uranium.
Virginians stood up against the bill, arguing that uranium mining would likely be detrimental to the state’s water supply and environment. And while supporters of the bill claimed that the pollution possibilities could be contained, the environmentalists, farmers, and community leaders that banded together eventually prevailed.
Giving strength to the claims that uranium harvesting could have garnered energy independence for America, an estimated 119 million pounds of uranium oxide was discovered beneath a farm in Chatham, Va.
The 25 year ban, first enacted in 1982, came into question in 2006, when the family that owns the Chatham farm pressed government officials to lift the ban. However, for the time being, it will remain in place.