Press Statement on Behalf of the Keep The Ban Coalition on Release of the 2012 Uranium Working Group
Today the Governor's internal Uranium Working Group released its report on what regulations in Virginia might look like if the General Assembly votes to repeal the state's longstanding ban on uranium mining.
There have already been several reports on uranium mining in Virginia: the Baker Corporation report released by the City of Virginia Beach, the Chmura Economics & Analytics report, the site-specific assessment contained in the Moran report, and the National Academy of Sciences report, the only peer-reviewed study. The National Academy of Sciences report identified significant potential risks with uranium mining, milling, and radioactive waste disposal, and stated that it was not possible to mitigate all risks.
The issue addressed by the Uranium Working Group report–what a regulatory program might look like if the ban were lifted–is a hypothetical discussion. We haven't answered the question of whether to lift the ban. And what we've seen in recent weeks is that there's growing consensus of Virginians–including the Virginia Municipal League, the Virginia Association of Counties, and the Virginia Farm Bureau–who believe that this 30-year ban has served us well and they want to keep it in place.
There is broad, bipartisan support in favor of keeping the ban. At the final meeting of the Uranium Working Group, the Keep The Ban Coalition presented a petition in support of the ban signed by 16,000 Virginians. These individuals joined 40 local government entities in Virginia and North Carolina in a growing chorus of public sentiment against mining, milling, and radioactive waste disposal.