Mining Question?

Thank you Karen Maute:

Mining question

By Published by The Editorial Board

Published: January 17, 2010

To the editor:

The Danville Pittsylvania Regional Industrial Facility Authority (DPRIFA)

consists of City council and Board of Supervisors members. According to state

code and local ordinance, the authority exists to enhance the economic base for

the member localities and to promote the health, safety, welfare convenience and

prosperity of inhabitants of the region and the commonwealth.

At present, DPRIFA is developing the Berry Hill Mega Park and has spent

approximately $13 million.

Pittsylvania County’s administrator has been quoted as saying that

installation of roads, utilities, erosion control, grading and making the site

into a park will cost $222 million.

Everyone is hopeful that this park will be developed resulting in long-term

employment and economic opportunity.

DPRIFA member and Supervisor Coy Harville was quoted as saying RIFA has no

intention of mining uranium at the Berry Hill megapark site. Parcels purchased

by DPRIFA have historic Marline uranium leases. DPRIFA now owns the mineral

rights in the megapark.

If no uranium mining and milling are planned for the megapark, why not pass a

resolution declaring that to be the case?


Mount Cross

Va. Beach weighs in on mining study

By Published by

The Editorial Board
Published: January

17, 2010

Here in the Dan River Region, the predominant public opinion about uranium

mining and milling appears to be, “Wait for the study’s results to come in and

then decide.”

If that’s how most people really feel, then it’s a triumph for Virginia

Uranium Inc.

For more than two years, the company wanted the National Academy of Sciences

to study uranium mining and milling. They’ve got the study from the agency they

wanted and the public has, for the most part, taken a stand on the sidelines.

How long people will remain there is anyone’s guess.

That hasn’t stopped Virginia Beach, which drinks Pittsylvania County water,

from taking a keen interest in what might happen at Coles Hill, the site of a

119-million pound deposit of uranium ore.

At about the time Virginia was placing a moratorium on uranium mining,

Virginia Beach was starting to fight Southside Virginia and the state of North

Carolina for the right to withdraw 60 million gallons of water a day from Lake

Gaston. Today, Virginia Beach depends on Lake Gaston water, and some of the

water in Lake Gaston flows past Virginia Uranium’s Coles Hill site.

For that reason, Virginia’s largest city is conducting a study of its own to

determine what would happen if a weather-related disaster at Coles Hill affected

the water supply it relies on.

“We’ve concluded that it’s very important (that) this be done,” said Thomas

Leahy, Virginia Beach’s director of public utilities. “… We think it’s a

question that has to be answered. No one else is going to do this study.”

The National Academy of Sciences is studying uranium mining and milling in

Virginia, not just the portion of Virginia about six miles northeast of Chatham

that sits atop billions of dollars worth of uranium ore.

Virginia Beach will spend $437,000 on its study. Pittsylvania County doesn’t

have that kind of money, of course, but even it did, it’s unlikely that it would

spend any money to study any aspect of the proposed project. The Board of

Supervisors can’t even bring itself to say that it doesn’t want uranium mining

or milling in the new industrial megapark it’s building with Danville off Berry

Hill Road.

Virginia Beach continued interest in this project — and its willingness to

put its money where its concern is — represents a wild card VUI most likely

never expected to see played.

Given the high stakes that are involved, we welcome any and every bit of

credible, third-party information about this complex project. Virginia Beach has

a stake in this project. Since 1998, they’ve consumed some of our water. If they

can’t drink it, we certainly can’t drink it.


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