Flooding near proposed uranium mining site worries some, VUI says there’s no concern

A road closes near Coles Hill that runs through the Virginia Uranium Incorporated but getting home isn’t the only concern for one nearby farmer.

WDBJ7 – January 15, 2013 PITTSYLVANIA CO., Va.—

Today’s heavy rain is bringing more attention to the proposed uranium mining site in Pittsylvania County.

A road on the Coles Hill site is flooded.

Opponents say the mining would contaminate streams and rivers.

“It’s a beautiful day.”

Rain is liquid sunshine for farmer Byron Motley.

“It’s a tremendous welcome. We need the rainfall badly for all the crops,” Motley said.

It’s making harvest season look extra plentiful this year and replenishing dry creeks.

“They call it dry branch, and this past summer it has been 100 percent dry. You could walk around and never get your feet wet,” Motley said.

But unexpected flooding has him concerned.

“This is the proof that the water that’s coming from the mill site, this is where it goes. And you can see what two and three inches of rain is doing it’s flooding the roads down here,” Motley said.

Motley believes the proposed mine could contaminate the water, which runs into a nearby water source.

“Any residue has the potential of washing down this way and going directly into the Banister River,” Motley said.

Despite his concerns, leaders with Virginia Uranium Incorporated say there’s no chance of uranium or its by-product ever touching the streams.

“The probable maximum precipitation event for the Coles Hill site is estimated by Virginia Tech to be 38 inches of rain in a 24 hour period so this is no where approaching the type of engineering standards or regulatory standards that our facility would have to meet,” Wales said.

The 3,500 acres owned by Virginia Uranium has many low lying area, places Wales says will be left alone.

“It’s another unfortunate example of how our opponents are again not focusing on the facts and just throwing things out and hoping it sticks to the wall,” Wales said.

Motley says he’s contacted several senators and delegates and posted pictures on Facebook of the flooding.

People who live on this road are finding detours to get around this section of the road.

The Virginia Department of Transportation will keep the road closed until water levels are again below the road.

Article: http://www.wdbj7.com/news/wdbj7-flooding-near-proposed-uranium-mining-site-worries-some-vui-says-theres-no-concern-20130115,0,1945578.story

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