|Photo by Michael Brcak|
Few things have generated the headlines more than the possibility of lifting the moratorium on uranium in Virginia. The 30-year moratorium has been in place since the issue was last looked at in the 1980s. The renewed interest in nuclear energy has reignited interest by investors to attempt to gain permits to mine the largest deposit known in Virginia on the Coles Hill property in Pittsylvania County.
Virginia Farm Bureau has had a policy to have any study of the mining of uranium be conducted by the unbiased party such as the National Academy of Sciences, and then the latest policy to keep the moratorium in place until all studies are thoroughly evaluated. Governor Bob McDonnell called for just that on January 19, 2011, in a directive to state agencies to delve into the issue to gain more site-specific information.
The Uranium Working Group is a multi-agency cooperation to pull together more information to aid the General Assembly to make a more informed decision when considering lifting the moratorium. We encourage all of our members to read the reports and follow the progress of the work group. The public is also asked to participate in public forums, submit questions, and comments. Virginia Farm Bureau will be submitting questions and comments and encouraging members to do so as well.
You can monitor the work group and read the state sponsored reports that have been completed to date at the Uranium Working Groups website at http://www.uwg.vi.virginia.gov/index.shtml