KLPW has previously brought the Virginia Uranium mining issue to KLPW members and was sent this first seen media report on a new research report authorized by the Roanoke River Basin Association (RRBA). RRBA has sent a full copy of the 25-page report and KLPW will be glad to send you your copy via email. Just send a request to firstname.lastname@example.org or you may visit www.rrba.org.
FROM AN ONLINE NEWS REPORT FROM THE NEWS ADVANCE & “GO DAN RIVER“
BY MARY BETH JACKSON
The Roanoke River Basin Association released the final report of Paul Robinson â€” a 26-page report that reiterates the concerns of the preliminary report the group issued in June.
Robinson, the research director of the Southwest Research and Information Center, reviewed records of the Virginia Department of Mines, Mineral and Energy for the report, prepared for the RRBA. He says there is a lack of sufficient public and governmental oversight of uranium exploration in Virginia.
The report alleges that Virginia is flying blind on uranium exploration, that the few requirements in place have not been enforced, and that VUI has failed to comply with what little is required.
In a release, RRBA President Gene Addesso said the study raises troubling questions.
â€œ This leads us to question how DMME could be expected to take on the regulatory responsibility of large scale uranium mining on thousands of acres in the headwaters of the Banister River,â€ he said.
Virginia Uranium Inc. wants to mine a 119-million-pound uranium ore deposit six miles from Chatham. The company has been pressing the state to lift the 1983 moratorium on uranium mining, but in 2007, it received a permit to drill 40 exploratory holes on the Coles Hill property.
In June, Virginia Uranium issued a rebuttal to Robinsonâ€™s initial report.
â€œ Virginia Uranium, Inc. is in full compliance with the requirements of our permit, which we have held since 2007,â€ the company stated in its release. â€œThe company has never received a single notice of violation or citation from the DMME related to inadequate of insufficient information or documentation associated with our permit nor have we ever received a health and safety or environmental violation or citation for activities at our site.â€
But Mondayâ€™s report reiterates claims that Virginia was flying blind when it authorized Virginia Uranium to do test borings in 2007.
Those test borings were used by the company to help further define the ore body at Coles Hills and make measurements of the amount and quality of the ore underneath the pastoral farmland.
Robinsonâ€™s report says the DMME has failed to create rules and regulations for uranium exploration as required in Virginia law.
â€œ The statute does not appear to allow permitting of uranium exploration without such rules and regulations being in place,â€ Robinson wrote. â€œIf that is the case, DMME issuance of VUIâ€™s permit was contrary to law the permit should be revoked.â€
The Southwest Research and Information Center works with community groups to provide technical assistance on environmental and resource development issues. One of its facets is a uranium assessment program.
Mary Beth Jackson reports for the Danville Register & Bee.