Virginia’s water at risk

Free Lance Star – Jan. 17, 2013

There are reports and recommendations that our legislators will use to decide if lifting the 30-year ban on uranium mining in Virginia is the right thing to do.

Each independent study warns of great risk to people and our water. The sources include key findings from the National Academy of Sciences’ “Uranium Mining in Virginia” report and “Degradation of Water Quality and increased Water Competition” by Robert Moran. Despite those scientifically factual reports, Virginia Uranium Inc. has failed to identify the source of the billions of gallons of water needed for its operations. Fresh water, the most important resource for humans, continues to become more scarce with time. Mining operations could take place anywhere in the state. Risk to water supplies alone should override any thought of lifting the ban.

Reports by the Virginia Energy Independence Alliance cite jobs, growth, and tax revenue with subjective numbers. Few risks are mentioned. This special-interest group reportedly has 30 lobbyists. They have been making large political contributions. Temporary jobs will end, but radioactive waste is permanent. Astronomic public costs can result.

Uranium mining doesn’t support energy goals of growth and independence because, unlike oil, our country has abundant supplies of enriched uranium. Virginia Uranium Inc. is not proposing to produce nuclear fuel in Virginia. This foreign-backed company will be eligible to sell the uranium on open world markets. Who might that benefit? VUI will certainly realize huge profits.

Because of the potential horrific outcome, our past legislators had the good sense to protect this great state, its water supply, and its residents. The General Assembly should be voting soon. Stop the tragedy before it starts. Today, tell your delegates, representatives, and the governor to Keep The Ban.

John Valvo, Stafford

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