News | November 30, 2011

Socioeconomic report on uranium mining does not alleviate human health, environmental concerns

A report released today on the economic impacts of the proposed Coles Hill uranium mine and mill found that while the project could produce benefits for Southside Virginia, the risks and rewards “are not balanced.”  Under a worst-case scenario, researchers found that potential net costs to taxpayers could reach almost $11 billion – nearly double the projected benefits under the best-case scenario. 

The 179-page study was produced by Chmura Economics & Analytics for the Virginia Energy and Coal COmmmission. The report found that, even under the best circumstances, some adverse health effects and environmental contamination are likely. 

Moreover, the report finds that the “potential negative stigma” of uranium mining could result in the closure of a large manufacturer and a private school in Southside, as well as the loss of tens of millions of dollars in property values, health care costs and a stressed agriculture and tourism sector.

SELC and our allies in the Keep The Ban Coalition are urging the General Assembly to withhold any action on lifting the existing statewide ban on uranium mining  before lawmakers and the public have had a chance to review this report and several others on the issue.

Learn more about uranium mining in Virginia with SELC’s FAQ

Read Chmura’s socioeconomic report here.