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Letters and Correspondence


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Requiring NO DISCHARGE of process water - Submitted by Katie Whitehead - 12/13/2012 9:08:38 AM
Comments/Questions: The 1985 draft legislation to lift the moratorium required NO DISCHARGE of process water to surface waters – without exception. This was one of the 9 ESSENTIAL CONDITIONS that the Uranium Administrative Group and the 1984 Uranium Task Force insisted should be included in any legislation to legalize uranium mining in Virginia. Why do you, the UWG, recommend less stringent, less protective regulation of process water? Why not challenge the industry to meet the stringent protective standard proposed in 1985?
Uranium Working Group Response: The recommendation from the Uranium Task Force 1984 Report to “establish a strict prohibition of process water discharge from a uranium mill and/or tailings facility” did not address excess water that may come from a uranium mine. In contrast, the UWG Report on page 34 states, “All excess water from any potential mine dewatering, tailings management and any storm water that would come in contact with waste rock storage and a mill licensed area would need to be stored and released only if it meets both: -any special standard water quality criteria established through the work of an appointed Scientific Advisory Committee that would provide public water supply protection of surface waters downstream from any potential uranium mining and milling operation, and -Virginia new source technology limits for process wastewater”. If the appropriate standards are established as proposed by the UWG, they would not only provide more stringent safeguards on the quality of water released to surface waters under the VPDES permit program, but would also provide a more realistic and effective method for managing the total water balance of a mine and mill facility in Virginia’s climate.

Virginia’s option to enact more stringent regulati - Submitted by Katie Whitehead - 12/13/2012 9:07:26 AM
Comments/Questions: Does the UWG report provide a comprehensive list of the specific performance and technology standards that Virginia should consider that would provide more appropriate protection than existing federal regulations? If so, where is this list? In each case, does your report clearly indicate whether Virginia would have to amend its agreement status in order to enact the more stringent regulation?
Uranium Working Group Response: Specifically with regard to VDH/12VAC5: COV Uranium Study Final Report, Table 4.2, pp. 61 – 66. Comprehensively in COV Uranium Study Final Report, Exhibit B, Compilation of Points for Consideration.

Total resource needs projected by the UWG - Submitted by Katie Whitehead - 12/13/2012 9:06:14 AM
Comments/Questions: Please check my math based on the UWG report presentation: If Virginia lifts the uranium mining moratorium and regulates both uranium mining and milling, state agencies would need $5,388,000 and the equivalent of 29 new full-time employees plus 1 wage employee. If the NRC regulates uranium milling, Virginia agencies would need $4,388,000 and the equivalent of 21 new full-time employees plus 1 wage employee. Do you recommend that industry pay the full cost in each scenario?
Uranium Working Group Response: Yes.

How can we be sure that the industry would pay the - Submitted by Katie Whitehead - 12/13/2012 9:03:57 AM
Comments/Questions: The UWG has stated that Virginia could begin to recoup the costs of a regulatory program when applications are submitted. Does the UWG anticipate that the substantial START-UP costs for a regulatory program could be reimbursed by industry? Is there a way to ensure that the industry pays ONGOING regulatory costs if actual mining and milling are (1) delayed, (2) interrupted, or (3) never start?
Uranium Working Group Response: As noted in our presentations on November 27 and Dec 11 financial assurrances would be required before issuance of any permits and would be available to cover costs incurred during a delay or interruption.

Why economic viability matters - Submitted by Katie Whitehead - 12/13/2012 9:02:16 AM
Comments/Questions: The UWG recommends that the uranium company (or companies) pay all the costs of regulating the industry through license and permit fees, severance taxes, etc. Doesn’t the Commonwealth need some assurance that the global market for uranium would support active uranium mining and milling of the relatively low-grade ore in Virginia? Just because Virginia Uranium has an estimated 119 million pounds of uranium in the ground does not mean that we should count on the company producing and selling that amount.

corporate welfare nuclear industry - Submitted by Suzanne - 12/10/2012 9:48:40 AM
Comments/Questions: The Congress is considering another $36 billion dollars in subsidies to the nuclear industry. Nuclear is neither, clean, renewable, or sustainable. Virginia must not give in to the appetites of an industry that was birthed by the Cold War and creates radioactive wastes that must be contained forever. Virginia must say no to the addiction to the technologies and energy of the past. No corporate welfare with our tax dollars for the risky business of mining and milling uranium in our state. The Governor has already spent at least $1.2 million dollars. We have enough information to lay the question to rest, forever.

mailing list - Submitted by Joanne - 12/9/2012 12:07:02 AM
Comments/Questions: Please add my name to your mailing list. Thank you.

mailing list - Submitted by Joanne - 12/9/2012 12:07:00 AM
Comments/Questions: Please add my name to your mailing list. Thank you.

uranium - Submitted by Ibrahima - 12/7/2012 10:08:23 AM
Comments/Questions: Dear Sirs, we have mines in Africa for sale . regards

Polling of businesses - Submitted by Corbin - 11/29/2012 2:33:28 PM
Comments/Questions: I understand from your presentation in Richmond on 11/27/12 that small businesses across Virginia will be polled by a subcontractor to the Uranium Working Group about their views on uranium mining, milling and waste storage. Apparently the polling now is underway and the results will be available to the public in a written report on December 15th. I also understand that 20% of the businesses polled will be located in southside VA. Please let me know if any of the above information is incorrect. Would you kindly: 1. Provide the public with a copy of the questions that are being asked in the poll? Please post online now and include in the December 15th written report. 2. Tell us how a small business is being defined for purposes of polling and whether the businesses polled must have a listed business telephone number or if individual farmers or cottage industries without such listed numbers will be included in the small businesses that are contacted? Again, please post the answer online and include this information in the December 15th written report. 3. Present in the December 15th written report a breakdown by county of how many businesses were polled, how many responded, and what the response (pro or con) was by county? 4. Post online asap and provide in the written report the detailed methodology being used to poll businesses. 5. Tell the public how we might get a copy of the December 15th report if we cannot pick up one in person? Will the company post its report online? Could you please let me know the names of the polling company and project manager and the company's contact information? Thank you for your help.
Uranium Working Group Response: Small businesses were those with fewer than 10 employees, medium sized businesses were those with 10 – 499 employees, and large businesses were those with more than 500 employees. A random dialing protocol was used to generate a representative sample of Virginia businesses statewide. We did not apply any formal subgroup targets to different industry sectors, just to a geographical area. However, there were respondents indicating that their businesses are in agriculture and farming. As noted in your question, the only subgroup target included Pittsylvania County and surrounding areas, including Campbell, Henry and Halifax counties (including the city of South Boston), and the cities of Martinsville and Danville. Responses from businesses in this area represent 20% of the total sample, (130 out of the total of 650). The report is not due until January 15 and will posted on our website at that time.

Your error... - Submitted by liz - 11/29/2012 2:18:50 PM
Comments/Questions: Did you really fail in providing a socio-economic report? If so, how could you have failed in that?
Uranium Working Group Response: We did not fail. It will be provided as an addendum to the report.

Socio-economic Survey - Submitted by Susan - 11/29/2012 11:45:46 AM
Comments/Questions: Your description of the socio-economic survey in the meeting this week did not state whether this would be a random survey or if a purposeful effort will be made to include the farmers most directly impacted by the potential mining and milling. Do we have any assurance that the farmers within a reasonable proximity will be contacted? What radius would/will be used to establish "reasonable proximity"? Thank you.
Uranium Working Group Response: A random digit dialing protocol was used to generate a representative sample of Virginia businesses statewide. No formal subgroup targets to different industry sectors were used. The only subgroup target included Pittsylvania County and surrounding areas, including Campbell, Henry and Halifax counties (including the city of South Boston), and the cities of Martinsville and Danville. Responses from businesses in this area represent 20% of the total sample, (130 out of the total of 650) close attention will be paid to the responses from this group during the analysis. We did not work with a pre-defined radius for reasonable proximity. However, to get a sense of the attitudes of business owners and managers regarding this issue we did include the question: “How close – in terms of miles – would you consider it safe for locating a business near the uranium mining and milling operations? “ The responses to that question will be included in the reporting for the survey to help inform any future decisions about reasonable proximity. ORI has indicated that there are respondents indicating that their businesses are in agriculture or farming, but we don’t have any more details yet.

Mailing List - Submitted by Lee - 11/29/2012 11:30:01 AM
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Mailing List - Submitted by Nikki - 11/29/2012 11:29:32 AM
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Mailing List - Submitted by Nikki - 11/29/2012 11:28:50 AM
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Mailing List - Submitted by Norman - 11/29/2012 11:27:03 AM
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Mailing List - Submitted by Linda - 11/29/2012 11:25:53 AM
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Mailing List - Submitted by Daniel - 11/29/2012 11:25:28 AM
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Mailing List - Submitted by Bill - 11/29/2012 11:24:55 AM
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Mailing List - Submitted by Rich - 11/29/2012 11:24:24 AM
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Mailing List - Submitted by Robert - 11/29/2012 11:23:46 AM
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Mailing List - Submitted by Tyla - 11/29/2012 11:23:05 AM
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Uranium Mining - Submitted by Betty - 11/28/2012 11:16:12 PM
Comments/Questions: Are there any dangers attached to the Mining procedure or to the surrounding area--Future or present --have studies been done ????????
Uranium Working Group Response: Please read the Wright Environmental Services reports and the UWG Final Report contained on the Study Links and Documents page of this site.

Lifting the uranium moratorium - Submitted by Alexandra - 11/28/2012 5:57:44 PM
Comments/Questions: Comment to Governor’s Uranium Working Group November 27, 2012 Alexandra Liddy Bourne Executive Director of the American Energy Freedom Center It is important to remember as we listen to the discussions held at public meetings that the issue at question is lifting the moratorium on uranium mining, not granting a license. It is clear that Virginia and the federal government have the regulatory experience and the expertise to develop regulations for uranium mining in Virginia. Energy policy as a whole has a significant effect on our economy, at the local, state and national levels. When energy markets tighten, for a host of reason, decreased supply or supply vulnerabilities partnered with increased demand cause prices to rise and in this case we are primarily concerned with the price of electricity. When energy prices are affordable or low, we experience economic growth. We have an opportunity here in Virginia, with the Coles Hill uranium deposit, to spur economic growth for the state and the nation, and more specifically, Pittsylvania County. Generally speaking, we can anticipate a 1 percent annual growth rate for electricity demand which coincides with our population growth. That would mean that over the next 40 years, we will need 1,658,873 MW in additional electric power. Nationally, we import 90 percent of our uranium. Nuclear power is the only baseload electricity source that is emission free. The Coles Hill project is a huge opportunity for jobs and energy independence. The project would create approximately 1000 jobs and $5 billion in revenue for Virginia. The average uranium miner would earn $65,000 per year. There would be more than $100 million annually in state and local tax revenue with $135 million every year in other economic benefits. Coles Hill is projected to produce 120 million pounds of uranium over its economic life. Current U.S. production is about 3.8 million pounds per year, which means the Virginia deposit could provide more than 53 percent or more of U.S. production. Virginia is well suited to mine uranium safely. We have experience with 247 coal mines and 455 nonfuel mineral mines. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has over 30 years of experience with oversight and reclamation of mills and extensive expertise in groundwater, engineering and radiation protection. Since 1978, when the Uranium Mill Tailings Radiation Control Act was enacted we have improved tailings management, use of liners for tailings impoundments, effective groundwater monitoring, and stringent reclamation and financial assurance criteria. Coles Hill will be subjected to the NRC review process which includes pre-licensing meetings, public meetings, acceptance reviews, environmental impact statements, safety and technical reviews, environmental reviews and inspections. Virginia already regulates radioactive material which has been outlined in previous presentations and expanded in the UGW presentation tonight.

Lifting the ban on Uranium mining - Submitted by Isabella - 11/27/2012 7:29:50 PM
Comments/Questions: Briefly, I worked for the National Academy of Sciences as a scientific indexer as well as have worked extensively with radioactive isotopes in Cancer Research. Having written several papers on Chernobyl and after reviewing the National Academy of Sciences report: Two items are of most importance: First,from the Uranium Mining Final Brief, pdf, from NAS: the conclusion of the NAS report which recommends "Specific Best Practices which incorporate the full life cycle of uranium mining, from mining to final ownership and reclamation processes, this can be done in Virginia. With regard to Chernobyl and I am quoting from Grigori Medvedev, who wrote The Truth About Chernobyl: that the Chernobyl disaster was directly caused by an unsupervised scientific experiment conducted by ignorant operators and technicians, in combination with artificial time pressures, bureaucratic procedures and a total communication break-down at Unit 4 of the Chernobyl Plant. This was covered extensively on PBS. A close look at Nuclear contamination in history is linked to human error. Pittsylvania, an impoverished part of the state of VA would and could benefit greatly by mining Uranium using best practices that are well known by the best scientific minds in the world. Virginia could be a model for Uranium mining for the world and achieve a local economic boon, if it chooses to.

Environmental Problems and Violations Accumulate f - Submitted by Deborah - 11/27/2012 2:40:01 PM
Comments/Questions: Did any of the Wright's report contain fines or problems with uranium mining? Deb Dix Environmental Problems and Violations Accumulate for Uranium Mining and Processing While the uranium mining industry insists that the in-situ leaching process for extracting uranium is environmentally safe, mining violations and associated fines imposed by mining regulatory agencies continue to accumulate. To avoid violations, some mining companies request more lax environmental standards. Significant problems also occur with uranium processing and transportation. Here are some recent examples: •Uranium Mine (Power Resources, Inc.) to pay $1.4 million settlement. See http://www.trib.com/articles/2008/07/10/news/breaking/doc4876424160775926209366.txt. •Cameco Resources agrees to pay $50,000 fine for deficienies identified during abandoned drill hole inspection at Smith Ranch ISL site. See http://www.wise-uranium.org/umopwy.html#SMITHR. •According to Texas Commission on Environmental Quality records, 51 requests for “amended restoration tables to make them higher” have been granted out of 80 uranium mining production areas. See http://www.victoriaadvocate.com/goliad_county/story/323434.html. •Strathmore pays $18,000 fine for numerous violations connected to exploration activities at Sky ISL project site (Wyoming). See http://www.wise-uranium.org/upusawy.html#SKY. •The Cotter Corp. uranium mill has been cited by the state for radioactive contamination at the adjacent Shadow Hills Golf Club. See http://www.rockymountainnews.com/news/2008/aug/14/uranium-mill-cited-for-new-contamination/. •$50,000 penalty imposed on Cameco's subsidiary Crow Butte Resources for violations at ISL uranium mine (Nebraska). See http://www.wise-uranium.org/umopusa.html#CROWBCD080523. •Wyoming DEQ issues Notice of Violation to Cameco Resources for deficienies identified during abandoned drill hole inspection. See http://www.wise-uranium.org/umopwy.html#SMITHR. •Cameco Resources Reaches Settlement with Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality. See http://www.cameco.com/media_gateway/news_releases/2008/news_release.php?id=236. •Wyoming Model In Situ Uranium Mine Under Scrutiny for an Alarming Volume of Environmental Violations. See http://www.nunnglow.com/latest/wyoming-deq-sanctions-uranium-mine.html. •WISE Uranium Reports Cogema Seeks Approval for Groundwater Restoration. See http://www.nunnglow.com/latest/wise-uranium-reports-cogema-seeks-approval-for-groundwater-restoration.html •Probe finds uranium mine violations. See http://www.nunnglow.com/probe-finds-uranium-mine-violations.html

Left out of Reports from Wright - Submitted by Deborah - 11/27/2012 2:33:17 PM
Comments/Questions: Left out of Reports from Wright: How much water falls during a rainstorm?, Deb Dix Have you ever wondered how much water falls onto your yard during a rainstorm? Using a 1-inch rainstorm as an example, the table below gives example of how much water falls during your storm for various land areas. Amount of water received when an inch of rain occurs: click here to read : http://ga.water.usgs.gov/edu/earthrain.html Water Equivalents (approximate) The following equivalents show the relationship between the volume and weight of water and between the volume and speed of flowing water. Volume and weight •One inch of rain falling on 1 acre of ground is equal to about 27,154 gallons and weighs about 113 tons. •An inch of snow falling evenly on 1 acre of ground is equivalent to about 2,715 gallons of water. This figure, however, based upon the "rule-of-thumb" that 10 inches of snow is equal to 1 inch of water, can vary considerable, depending on whether the snow is heavy and wet, or powdery and dry. Heavy, wet snow has a very high water content—4 or 5 inches of this kind of snow contains about 1 inch of water. Thus, an inch of very wet snow over an acre might amount to more than 5,400 gallons of water, while an inch of powdery snow might yield only about 1,300 gallons. •One acre-foot of water (the amount of water covering 1 acre to a depth of 1 foot) equals 326,000 gallons or 43,560 cubic feet of water, and weighs 2.7 million pounds. •One cubic mile of water equals 1.1 trillion gallons, 147.2 billion cubic feet, or 3.38 million acre-feet, and weighs 9.2 trillion pounds (4.6 billion tons). Rate of flow (in a stream) •Water flowing at the steady rate of 1 gallon per minute is equivalent to: 1,440 gallons per day; 0.00223 cubic foot per second; 192.7 cubic feet per day; or 0.00442 acre-foot of water per day. •Water flowing at the steady rate of 1 cubic foot per second is equivalent to: 449 gallons per minute; 646,000 gallons per day; 86,400 cubic feet per day; or 1.98 acre-feet of water per day. •Water flowing at the steady rate of 1 acre-foot per day is equivalent to: 226 gallons per minute; 326,000 gallons per day; 0.504 cubic foot per second; or 43, 560 cubic feet of water per day. •Water flowing at the steady rate of 1 cubic mile per day is equivalent to: 764.6 million gallons per minute; 1.1 trillion gallons per day; 1.7 million cubic feet per day; or 3.38 million acre-feet of water per day. http://ga.water.usgs.gov/edu/earthrain.html

Uranium: Bad for your Health - Submitted by Deborah - 11/27/2012 2:26:52 PM
Comments/Questions: Uranium: Bad for your Health: Keep the Ban, Deb Dix Doctors expose Toro Energy’s promotion of quack science about ionising radiation May 6, 2012 We call on Toro Energy to stop promoting fringe scientific views to uranium industry workers and to the public at large. The Medical Association for Prevention of War has released a statement signed by 45 medical doctors calling on uranium mining company Toro Energy to stop promoting the view that low-level radiation is beneficial to human health. Toro Energy, which plans to mine uranium at Wiluna in WA and has interests in uranium exploration ventures in the NT and SA, has sponsored speaking tours by controversial Canadian scientist Doug Boreham. The joint statement notes that recent research has heightened rather than reduced concern about the adverse health impacts of low-level radiation. TORO ENERGY PROMOTES RADIATION JUNK SCIENCE , Statement by 45 doctors – (signatures at end ) 1 May 2012 Toro Energy is an Australian company involved in uranium exploration in Western Australia, the Northern Territory, South Australia and in Namibia, Africa. The company’s most advanced project is the proposed Wiluna uranium mine in the WA Goldfields. Toro Energy has consistently promoted the fringe scientific view that exposure to low-level radiation is harmless. Toro Energy has sponsored at least three speaking visits to Australia by Canadian scientist Dr Doug Boreham, who argues that low-level radiation is actually beneficial to human health. Those views are at odds with mainstream scientific evidence and expert assessment. For example: Read the rest of this entry » http://uranium-news.com/

Health Problems: Keep the Ban - Submitted by Deborah - 11/27/2012 2:19:45 PM
Comments/Questions: Health Problems: Keep the Ban, Deb Dix So why would twenty Quebec doctors resign en mass? (Uranium Mining) Sunday, 10 October 2010 It's not usual for one doctor to resign on principle but when twenty Canadian doctors walk together, there has to be a pretty powerful reason. The cause for this extreme move was the concern they had about the proposed mining of uranium in their province. Two other provinces had already refused to allow it. This happened in December of last year. You can read the details in the Spring Edition of Nukewatch Quarterly.. under: twenty doctors resign (!) These guys aren't stupid, nor are the members of the Australian trades union, who refuse to work in uranium mines. ....Last year twenty doctors, including specialists, resigned en mass from their hospital in Sept Isles, Canada in protest at the Quebec government's decision not to ban uranium mining in their province, unlike British Columbia and Nova Scotia, who already have. There were plans for Uranium mining on the North Shore of Quebec. The doctors wrote about the historical contamination of drinking water,environmental destruction and, irreversible health hazards. You can read the full report at http://www.nukewatch.com/quarterly/2010spring/page1%5B1%5D.pdf . These are professional people, and they resigned as a group in an advanced nation. Cross to Australia and you will find that the electricians in a trades union. The branch refuses to let any of its members work in uranium mining projects "When the Dust Settles" is a DVD production to explain to Members and the people of Australia the dangers and effects that Uranium mining creates. Now come back to America, and an indigenous people. I read that the Navajo Nation has banned Uranium mining on their land. According to Wikipedia: "For a people that historically had almost no cases, currently several types of cancer are in evidence at rates higher than the national average on the Four Corners Navajo Reservation. (Raloff, 2004) Especially high are the rates of reproductive-organ cancers in teenage Navajo girls, averaging seventeen times higher than the average of girls in the United States. It has been suspected that uranium mines, both active and abandoned, have released dust into the surrounding air and the water supply. Water contamination for many thousands of years is one of the problems that people fear in the areas surrounding uranium mining. You will see that this is one reason why they don't want it, apart from a history of exploitation, sickness and deaths,from mining.. Now, ask yourself where the uranium mining exploration and granting of licenses is going on at full speed, and one of the places is Africa, and the people who will be affected are some of the poorest and least formally educated in the world. Do you think that their voice will be heard? It's a struggle for people in developed nations with a history of sickness and deaths from uranium mining. We have brilliant people working on renewables. In this country we have enough wind and wave and tidal energy to keep us supplied and have spare to export. In Australia, in the desert, Dr. Karl states that an area 50km by 50km of solar voltaic would provide enough electrical energy for the whole of Australia and an area 500km by 500km would supply enough electrical energy to supply the whole world. Come on guys, we can do it. Think what a future you could be leaving your grandchildren. Think happy. Read more: http://dandelionithappens-dendelion.blogspot.com/2010/10/so-why-would-twenty-quebec-doctors.html

Keep the Ban, Uranium causes Health Problems - Submitted by Deborah - 11/27/2012 2:08:18 PM
Comments/Questions: Keep the Ban, Uranium causes Health Problems, Deb Dix Stories: Doctors renew threat to resign over uranium nunnglow.com - Medical society prescribes against uranium mining By Steve Porter Northern Colorado Business Report November 9, 2007. Doctors have a sworn duty to do no harm, and in Larimer County that's extending to trying to ... www.nunnglow.com/...prescribes-against-uranium-mining.html Activist calls KOTA Territory doctors to action against ... Rachael Embler. Doctors around the world are coming out against uranium mining saying it can cause cancer and one local activist urges KOTA Territory doctors join the ... www.kotatv.com/global/story.asp?s=13162174Canadian doctors renew threat to resign over uranium renew threat to resign over uranium ... ahead, I will eventually leave ... didn't want to have uranium mining project in their town ... www.minesandcommunities.org/article.php?a=10015 Uranium mine stoush threatens Alice doctors - ABC News ... ... if the Government allows a Canadian company to open a uranium mine close by. The doctors say ... Indigenous community but the mining ... them they would consider leaving town if a ...www.abc.net.au/.../uranium-mine-stoush...doctors/1153436 Anti-uranium doctors renew threat to resign - Montreal - CBC News ... leave the province after the government rejected calls for a moratorium on uranium mining ... Canadian Press) Nearly two-dozen doctors ... uranium mining project in their town ... www.cbc.ca/.../2010/03/22/mtl-uranium-sept-iles-doctors.html The Yellowcake Trail - Uranium Mining In Canada The Doctor Is In; Fitness; The Green Home ... the largest publicly traded uranium mining company – CAMECO (Canadian ... on the exploration and mining of uranium. LEAVING NO STONE ...www.ourbigearth.com/...the...uranium-mining-in-canada-part-1 We will quit if uranium mine opens, say doctors [Nov 23, 2009] ... threatened to leave if the Federal Government allows a Canadian company to mine uranium near the town. ... Sixteen doctors from the town's only ... Mining (443) Fishing www.smh.com.au/...uranium-mine-opens-say-doctors- Activist calls KOTA Territory doctors to action against ... Rachael Embler. Doctors around the world are coming out against uranium mining saying it can cause cancer and one local activist urges KOTA Territory doctors join the ... www.kotatv.com/global/story.asp?s=13162174

Mines causes Problems with Air, Water, Lif - Submitted by Deborah - 11/27/2012 2:05:46 PM
Comments/Questions: Mining cause problems with our health, our water, air, land, Keep the Ban Deb Dix Dr. Jim Deutsch Corrects GE's Uranium Secrets Published on Nov 18, 2012 by fightpollution James Deutsch, MD, PhD, FRCP(C) Assistant Professor Faculty of Medicine University of Toronto "I think it is important to take apart what the GE spokesperson quoted, which is that uranium is a natural entity and that the problem is not uranium but the general public's so to speak fear of the unknown. So there is a problem with that. It is true that uranium is a naturally occurring element , but we evolved as biological creatures above ground with virtually all of the uranium below the ground safely away from our DNA. Now we are bringing all of this stuff above ground in different forms and it goes into the body. And uranium is an emitter that will release particles with energy that can damage the DNA and various tissues and organs in the body close up. When the GE people talk about that living next to the reactor is about equivalent to one flight from Toronto to Vancouver they are talking about gamma radiation which is a high energy radiation that can penetrate tissues and pass right through. What is happening with uranium and the reactors which produce 200 isotopes that never existed before humankind created them. What those various isotopes do is they go to specific organs in the body and reside there emitting lower energy particles that will damage the molecules within the cells in the tissues in those organs. Children are especially susceptible, especially newborns and pregnant mothers." http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZotGdcV1Kik

question re G.A. guidance - 1985 and now - Submitted by Katie Whitehead - 11/27/2012 1:10:59 PM
Comments/Questions: Your answer to a question submitted 11/9/2012 states, “The General Assembly would not set parameters or provide guidance on the uranium milling regulatory program UNLESS the Governor requested to become an Agreement state from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.” (emphasis added) I understand that the initial step required by the NRC is a letter of intent from the governor. I do not see how this prevents the General Assembly from doing what they did in 1985 when they considered draft legislation that set parameters and provided guidance on a uranium mining AND MILLING regulatory program. HB1129 included the Virginia Uranium Mining and Milling Act of 1985, in which Chapter 25 General Provisions, §45.1-384 paragraph C. states, “The regulation of the uranium industry within the Commonwealth should be administered through a state regulatory program, including the licensing and monitoring of any uranium mill under an agreement with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. It is in the best interest of the Commonwealth that the development, administration and enforcement of the provisions of this Act be carried out by state officials and instrumentalities pursuant to a state regulatory program that can encompass the whole impact of the uranium industry on the Commonwealth.” §45.1-390 State Policy and Performance Standards Applicable to Uranium Operations (1)dictates specific performance standards for radiation and radon exposure, (2)requires compliance with Virginia’s anti-degradation policy for water quality with no variance or cancellation, (3)prohibits discharge of any process wastewater to surface waters, (4)requires that mill tailings and hazardous mine waste rock be subject to hazardous waste disposal standards, and (5)incorporates the ALARA principle. As I understand it, the Virginia General Assembly has the authority and the responsibility to address these policy decisions if it considers legislation that would legalize uranium mining. [http://www.uwg.vi.virginia.gov/pdf/DRAFT(NOT%20PASSED)%20Virginia%20Uranium%20Mining%20&%20Milling %20Act%20of%201985.pdf] Is it necessary for Virginia's governor to request agreement state status for uranium milling in order for the General Assembly to provide legislative guidance for a regulatory program involving uranium mining and milling? Is the decision to seek agreement status for uranium milling a decision solely up to the governor?
Uranium Working Group Response: The Governor makes the decision whether to amend the agreement and initiates that process with the NRC.

industrial development - Submitted by Suzanne - 11/27/2012 11:49:42 AM
Comments/Questions: The fundamental question before Virginia what kind of economic development is sustainable and equitable? Industry safety standards and industry standards for mining are neither sustainable or equitable. No standard can prevent catastrophic failure and even harm. The standards just define the parameters of the harm. Mining uranium will primarily benefit the owners of the mine, it is no small wonder that a Canadian regulator has the gall to advocate for mining in Virginia since the Candadians own the mine. The people in Pittsylvania County and all downstream communities are justifiably against this kind of boom and bust industrial development. I support them and oppose lifting the ban.

Statement from Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission - Submitted by Rodney - 11/27/2012 4:50:43 AM
Comments/Questions: People who are concerned about the safety of uranium mining should know more about the experiences of our northern neighbors in Canada, which currently supplies about 20% of the world's annual uranium output. It is a safe and profitable business. Here is a link to an open letter written by Michael Binder, the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission President. (CNSC is the equivalent to our Nuclear Regulatory Commission.) http://www.nuclearsafety.gc.ca/eng/mediacentre/issues/letters_to_the_editor/20121122-uranium-moratoriums.cfm Binder's letter is an important source of information and opinion from the top regulator in one of the primary uranium producing countries of the world. Uranium mining areas in Canada are not in arid deserts, but instead are areas full of natural lakes and streams receiving at least as much rainfall each year as Virginia. Here is a sample quote from Binder's letter: "Activists, medical practitioners and politicians who have demanded moratoriums may have various reasons for doing so, but their claims that the public and environment are at risk are fundamentally wrong. The provincial governments that have decided to ban uranium exploration have done so ignoring years of evidence-based scientific research on this industry. The CNSC would never compromise safety by issuing a licence or allowing a uranium mine or mill to operate if it were not safe to do so. All monitoring data shows that uranium mining is as safe as other conventional metal mining in Canada. The numbers speak for themselves. Metal mining effluent data reported to Environment Canada demonstrates that uranium mining operations from 2007 to 2010 was 100% compliant with federal release limits for all seven types of contaminants. Uranium mining operations were the only type of metal mine to have 100% compliance during this period." Please share this information and the following summary of my professional background on your web site. I am a nuclear-trained former submarine engineer officer and a current nuclear energy professional. I publish Atomic Insights, a well established energy blog, from my home in Forest, VA, about 55 miles from the Coles Hill uranium deposit.

follow-up question: "regulations" = "statutory pro - Submitted by Katie Whitehead - 11/26/2012 10:02:15 PM
Comments/Questions: Your response to a question dated November 19 states, "The current statute prohibits the acceptance of permits for uranium mining 'until a program for permitting uranium mining is established by statute.' Therefore, the General Assembly must pass a statute that gives agencies the authority to develop regulations that would establish the process for permitting uranium mining activity in the Commonwealth." Are you saying that "regulations" and a "statutory program" are equivalent?
Uranium Working Group Response: Statutes are passed by the General Assembly and regulations promulgated by the Executive Branch and both are enforceable.

follow-up comment re NRC requirements - Submitted by Katie Whitehead - 11/26/2012 9:28:11 PM
Comments/Questions: It's my understanding that the NRC does not require best management practices. For example, the NRC does not necessarily require that uranium tailings storage cells be below-grade or double-lined. Is this your understanding?
Uranium Working Group Response: Under current NRC regulations, the licensee's tailings plan must be submitted in their application and approved by the NRC. The NRC requires that mill tailings be stored in a manner approved by the regulator considering site-specific conditions.

Uranium mining = Greed - Submitted by Mark - 11/26/2012 5:40:03 PM
Comments/Questions: I think we all understand the issue before us is one of greed. The owners of the Cole's Hill property and the Canadian mining company are just looking to make more money. They won't stop at Cole's Hill, they will pursue other mine locations and we all will be affected! They want to tear up the land and pocket the profits and damn the local citizens should there be a release of radioactivity. Keep the Ban, Keep the Uranium underground and out of my air, water, and adopted state!

Could best management practices be required for ur - Submitted by Katie Whitehead - 11/25/2012 8:59:18 PM
Comments/Questions: Could best management practices be required for uranium milling and tailings storage in Virginia without Virginia amending its agreement with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to undertake regulation of uranium milling and byproduct material? In Appendix A of Uranium Study: Initial Report, Wright Environmental Services (WES) repeatedly emphasizes best management practices in all aspects of uranium mining and milling: “RECOMMENDATION RTI Study Key Mitigating Factors-1: The Departments should consider requirements for and demonstration of best management practices in design, construction, operation and reclamation in uranium mining and/or milling project applications… RECOMMENDATION NAS Ch 6-1: Should the Commonwealth lift the moratorium on uranium mining and/or undertake regulation of uranium milling and Byproduct Material, the Departments should consider promulgating requirements for implementing best practices in all aspects of uranium mining and milling… RECOMMENDATION NAS Ch 7-1: Should the Commonwealth lift the moratorium on uranium mining and/or undertake regulation of uranium milling and Byproduct Material, the Departments should identify best practices for uranium mining, processing, reclamation and long-term stewardship… RECOMMENDATION NAS Ch 8-4: The Departments should consider development of requirements that proposed uranium mining and/or processing facilities address best practices… RECOMMENDATION NAS Ch 8-7 and 8-8: The Departments should consider requirements for project applicants to demonstrate application of best practices for mining and milling projects.”
Uranium Working Group Response: Unless the Commonwealth becomes and Agreement state, it would be up to the NRC to require best practices are used in uranium milling and tailings storage in the Commonwealth.

Protecting the Food Supply and Consumer Confidence - Submitted by Katie Whitehead - 11/25/2012 2:34:54 PM
Comments/Questions: What does the UWG propose in its regulatory framework to protect the food supply and ensure consumer confidence in Virginia-grown products and other consumables prepared and packaged in Virginia? What involvement, if any, has the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Safety (VDACS) had in the work of the UWG?
Uranium Working Group Response: The UWG recommends that if the moratorium is lifted, authority be established to require representative sampling, analyses and timely reporting of crops being commercially grown for human and/or livestock foodstuff including pasture land grasses and tobacco within a distance determined to be appropriate through the Environmental Report/Environmental Impact Analysis. VDACS' involvement has been to ensure the UWG understands VDACS is responsible for enforcing laws and regulations relating to consumer protection and the promotion of agriculture, that VDACS would provide oversight on agricultural and consumer protection, and that VDACS would collaborate with other state agencies on environmental monitoring, sampling and analysis.

Has the UWG considered this law review article re - Submitted by Katie Whitehead - 11/25/2012 2:32:40 PM
Comments/Questions: A 2010 William & Mary Environmental Law Review note entitled KEEPING AGRICULTURE ALIVE IN THE SHADOW OF A URANIUM MINE asserts that “from a purely agricultural perspective, continuing the moratorium on mining for the indefinite future would be the safest and most beneficial approach, given that the presence of a mine would seem to result only in risks and no foreseeable benefit for agricultural producers.” The author recognizes that the General Assembly might, nevertheless, legalize uranium mining and addresses “the gaps in both regulation and enforcement mechanisms as they apply to uranium mining’s effects on the agricultural economy of the region.(p. 617) … This Note is based on the premise that any measurable concentrations of uranium higher than naturally occurring levels may be publically perceived as a health risk.(p. 634) … At this time, no tissue (meat) is sampled for buildup of heavy and toxic metals or radiation at either USDA or VDACS (Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services) plants. The lack of any regulatory process to deal with the potential contamination that a nearby uranium mine could create for commercial livestock is a major gap that will need to be addressed if the uranium moratorium in Virginia is lifted and uranium mining begins. The lack of regulation affects both the actual potential for harm to health and safety, and the public perception of risk of harm to health and safety.” (p. 639) http://scholarship.law.wm.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1015&context=wmelpr
Uranium Working Group Response: Thank you for bringing the article to our attention. We will be sure to review it.

Tailings, Long Term - Submitted by James P. - 11/23/2012 4:29:41 PM
Comments/Questions: I am concerned about the long term security of the tailings. My questions include: 1. Is there a technical protocol or plan for monitoring the tailings until the residual radiation has decayed to that of the surrounding counties? 2. Who will be responsible for monitoring the tailings and certifying that they are safe and secure? Who will pay for this? Is there a business plan for the long term monitoring? 3. In the event of a breach or other release of radiation or other debris, is there a plan for remediation? Who will pay for this? Will there be bonds secured for this? 4. I understand that an "encapsulation" process has been suggested for the tailing material. Where has this been attempted in the past? Do these sites have the same terrain and experience similar weather including torrential rains from hurricanes. Would the encapsulation modify plans for monitoring, and bonding as noted above.
Uranium Working Group Response: 1. Is there a technical protocol or plan for monitoring the tailings until the residual radiation has decayed to that of the surrounding counties? Under current NRC regulations, the Owner/Operator must submit an Operations Plan that will comply with the requirements of 10CFR20 and 10CFR40, Appendix A and approved by the regulating authority. The Operations Plan must provide specificity on the monitoring of all appropriate sample media. Once a site is decommissioned and reclaimed, the custodian (either the Department of Energy or the state) assumes the responsibility for long-term monitoring. 10CFR40, Appendix A requires that financial surety arrangements be established by each mill operator, prior to the commencement of operations, to assure that sufficient funds will be available to carry out: the decontamination and decommissioning of the mill and site and for the reclamation of any tailings or waste disposal areas to levels which allow unrestricted use of these areas upon decommissioning; and, the reclamation of tailings and/or waste areas in accordance with established technical criteria; and the payment of the charge for long-term surveillance and control. The licensee's surety mechanism is reviewed annually by the Commission to assure that sufficient funds would be available for completion of the reclamation plan if the work had to be performed by an independent contractor. It is important to note there are two separate fund amounts - one for decontamination and decommissioning and the other for long-term monitoring. 2. Who will be responsible for monitoring the tailings and certifying that they are safe and secure? Who will pay for this? Is there a business plan for the long term monitoring? The Owner/Operator, in accordance with the approved Operations Plan, must monitor the tailings and certify they are safe and secure. The regulating authority (i.e., either the NRC or the Commonwealth if an Agreement State for uranium milling) is responsible for independently verifying the monitoring results through inspections and enforcement. The Commonwealth may also conduct independent offsite monitoring to confirm the Owner/Operator's results and verify regulatory limits are maintained. Financial Assurance to cover the costs of long-term monitoring is required to be posted by the Owner/Operator in accordance with 10CFR 40 Appendix A, Criteria 9 and 10 (for custody of and long-term care, including monitoring, maintenance, and emergency measures necessary to protect the public health and safety) and must be paid to the regulator prior to the termination of the mill license. The regulatory authority is listed as the third party on the Financial Assurance mechanism so that if the licensee were to go bankrupt or cease to exist, the agency would have access to the money ensuring the decontamination and decommissioning of the facility is performed. 3. In the event of a breach or other release of radiation or other debris, is there a plan for remediation? Who will pay for this? Will there be bonds secured for this? The Owner/Operator must submit procedures to respond to and mitigate the consequences of accidents. These procedures must be approved by the regulator prior to operations. The Commonwealth also maintains and Emergency Response Plan that addresses state and local agency response to a radiological or other emergency. If the moratorium is lifted, the UWG recommends requiring funds on the part of the Owner/Operator to protect the public from incurring financial obligations associated with 1) long-term monitoring costs and 2) possible long-term mine related mitigation and emergency response expenses should be considered in developing the statutory and regulatory framework for uranium mining and/or milling. These are not currently required for any radioactive materials licensee. Costs not covered by the performance bond or liability insurance instruments will require readily available and liquid funding to address these issues. 4. I understand that an "encapsulation" process has been suggested for the tailing material. Where has this been attempted in the past? Do these sites have the same terrain and experience similar weather including torrential rains from hurricanes. Would the encapsulation modify plans for monitoring, and bonding as noted above? The licensee's tailings plan must be submitted in the application and approved by the regulator. Mill tailings must be stored in a manner approved by the regulator considering site-specific conditions.

Pro mining - Submitted by Dennis - 11/20/2012 2:12:31 PM
Comments/Questions: I'll keep it simple. I'm a former soldier who has worked U-235, U-238 as well as several other radioactive materials for years. I've also done quite a bit of research on this mining topic to make up my mind. I do have some reservations about the daily operations but I would be willing to work there and the site is about 8 miles from my family and I. Uranium has been in these hills and throughout this region for millions of years. It is also naturally already in the water table in many areas. I attended one of the meetings a Chatham and talked to several anti-mining people during a break. In principle, they were against atomic energy, against uranium mining in the US and against uranium mining here in Va. Their answer, if you have atomic energy, which they say we don't, is buy the uranium from some other country. I prefer to buy from family, my community, my state or my country.

Do you think we should rely on federal regulators? - Submitted by Katie Whitehead - 11/19/2012 11:40:35 AM
Comments/Questions: In Tasks #2 and #11 Governor McDonnell directed the UWG to assess whether Virginia needs regulations more stringent than existing federal regulations and to determine whether the Governor should send a letter of intent to the NRC seeking regulatory authority for uranium milling. Arguably Gov. McDonnell asked the UWG to recommend whether Virginia should regulate uranium milling if the uranium mining moratorium is lifted. One difficulty in assessing the stringency of federal regulations is that federal regulators are flexible; they can allow exceptions and exemptions as they deem appropriate. We can rely on their expertise, judgment and stated intention to protect us – or not. Does the UWG have a recommendation?
Uranium Working Group Response: In it's report to the Governor and presentation to the Coal and Energy Commission, the UWG will outline in great detail the areas where Virginia may want to consider establishing standards more stringent than current NRC regulations in determining whether to become an Agreement state, as well as discuss the process for the Commonwealth's input to the NRC during the licensing process if we do not amend the Agreeement and how other states have proceeded.

GA guidance - 1985 and now - Submitted by Katie Whitehead - 11/19/2012 10:23:56 AM
Comments/Questions: Your answer to a question submitted 11/9/2012 states, “The General Assembly would not set parameters or provide guidance on the uranium milling regulatory program UNLESS the Governor requested to become an Agreement state from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.” (emphasis added) I understand that the initial step required by the NRC is a letter of intent from the governor. I do not see how this prevents the General Assembly from doing what they did in 1985 when they considered draft legislation that set parameters and provided guidance on a uranium mining AND MILLING regulatory program. HB1129 included the Virginia Uranium Mining and Milling Act of 1985, in which Chapter 25 General Provisions, §45.1-384 paragraph C. states, “The regulation of the uranium industry within the Commonwealth should be administered through a state regulatory program, including the licensing and monitoring of any uranium mill under an agreement with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. It is in the best interest of the Commonwealth that the development, administration and enforcement of the provisions of this Act be carried out by state officials and instrumentalities pursuant to a state regulatory program that can encompass the whole impact of the uranium industry on the Commonwealth.” §45.1-390 State Policy and Performance Standards Applicable to Uranium Operations (1)dictates specific performance standards for radiation and radon exposure, (2)requires compliance with Virginia’s anti-degradation policy for water quality with no variance or cancellation, (3)prohibits discharge of any process wastewater to surface waters, (4)requires that mill tailings and hazardous mine waste rock be subject to hazardous waste disposal standards, and (5)incorporates the ALARA principle. As I understand it, the Virginia General Assembly has the authority and the responsibility to address these policy decisions if it considers legislation that would legalize uranium mining. [http://www.uwg.vi.virginia.gov/pdf/DRAFT(NOT%20PASSED)%20Virginia%20Uranium%20Mining%20&%20Milling %20Act%20of%201985.pdf]

follow-up question: What legalizes uranium mining? - Submitted by Katie Whitehead - 11/19/2012 6:57:29 AM
Comments/Questions: True or false? "The GA passing a law to give the agencies the authority to develop regulations is the same thing as legalizing uranium mining." Please do not sidestep this question.
Uranium Working Group Response: True. The current statute prohibits the acceptance of permits for uranium mining "until a program for permitting uranium mining is established by statute." Therefore, the General Assembly must pass a statute that gives agencies the authority to develop regulations that would establish the process for permitting uranium mining activity in the Commonwealth.

No Uranium mining - Submitted by Nancy - 11/13/2012 4:56:22 PM
Comments/Questions: I am against uranium mining and milling in my county (Pittsylvania) and the state of Virginia. Money nor a handful of jobs could ever outweigh the protection of our water supply for our county, to the eastern shore as well as parts of North Caroline. If you believe uranium mining is safe then I believe you need to do more investigation. Even the so called modern mining technology has failed leaving behind contamination. Please do research on the internet on your on and you will find what damage is being done to the mankind.

High lupus rates near former uranium ore plant - Submitted by Deborah - 11/12/2012 2:48:15 PM
Comments/Questions: Keep the Ban, all forms all uranium processing is a health problems, Deb Dix High lupus rates near former uranium ore plant 11/10/2012 – High rates of systemic lupus erythematosus have been linked to living in proximity to a former uranium ore processing facility in Ohio, according to new research findings presented this week at the American College of Rheumatology Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C. Systemic lupus erythematosus, also called SLE or lupus, is a chronic inflammatory disease that can affect the skin, joints, kidneys, lungs, nervous system, and/or other organs of the body. The most common symptoms include skin rashes and arthritis, often accompanied by fatigue and fever. Lupus occurs mostly in women, typically developing in individuals in their twenties and thirties – prime child-bearing age. Researchers at the University of Cincinnati and Cincinnati Children’s Medical Center sought to explain an excessive number of lupus cases reported in a community five miles from a former uranium plant in Fernald, Ohio, from 1990 to 2008. They used available medical data from the Fernald Community Cohort, an 18-year study of 8,788 adult volunteers living near the plant, not including any plant workers. “What prompted us was the knowledge that lupus patients may be sensitive to sunlight and irradiation, in addition to literature hinting that miners may be at increased risk for developing lupus,” says Pai-Yue Lu, MD, a pediatric rheumatology fellow at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center and the lead researcher in the study. “When we learned of the Fernald cohort, how carefully the community had been followed, and the uranium exposure data collected, we were curious whether the frequency of lupus in those exposed was increased over those who had not been exposed. The availability of this cohort and carefully collected data provided a great setting to ask this question.” Using the data from the cohort, 24 cases of lupus were confirmed. Data collected included ICD9 medical codes associated with lupus, hydroxychloroquine (Plaquenil®) prescription, and autoantibody testing. Lupus cases were confirmed using an operational definition of the disease according to ACR classification criteria and medical record documentation. Estimated levels of uranium exposure from the plant were associated with higher rates of lupus. Among the lupus cases, 12 were in the high exposure group, seven with moderate exposure, and five in the low exposure group. Lupus was associated with the high exposure group. Typical U.S. incidence for lupus is 1.8 to 7.6 cases per 100,000 people per year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention statistics. Prevalence in this group, however, is five times higher than expected in the group exposed to higher amounts of radiation. Although the exact connection between uranium exposure and lupus is unknown, studies in mice have shown that uranium can mimic the effects of estrogen, says Dr. Lu. “In adults, lupus is 10 times more common in women compared to men and estrogen effects have been a target of research. Also, uranium is a radioactive element, and the accompanying radiation exposure has been known to cause genetic mutations and changes in gene expression. Both genes and environment may play a role in lupus development.” Exploring which potential environmental factors may trigger or cause lupus is making slow progress, says Dr. Lu. “There are likely many contributing environmental factors. A starting place for exposure identification is the study of well-characterized cohorts such as the Fernald cohort used in this project.” http://www.omglobe.com/2012/11/10/high-lupus-rates-near-former-uranium-ore-plant/

Modern Mining Failure - Submitted by Deborah - 11/12/2012 2:43:43 PM
Comments/Questions: Keep the uranium mining in VA, modern mining in Finland not working, was supported by the govt as the "safest mining setup in the world", VA do not repeat modern mining history, does not work! Further reading, the mines is awful, ruining everything in its site. Deb Dix Talvivaara waste water leak located Talvivaara officials located the source of a leak in a gypsum waste water pond Wednesday. Overflow pools south of the waste pond are however filling up and may have to be drained off in the direction of Vuoksi. Workmen at a metals mine owned by Talvivaara in Sotkamo, Kainuu have located the source of a leak at a gypsum waste pond that has been pouring waste water into the environment since last Sunday. Workmen are attempting to plug the leak, but waste water continues to flow at the rate of 5,000–6,000 cubic meters per hour. Most of the leakage is flowing south towards overflow pools. However the back-up pools are reaching capacity and the waste may have to be drained off in the direction of Vuoksi during the next 24 hours. So far none of the waste has reached the Vuoksi water system. North of the leaking pool, a small portion of the waste water has seeped into to the local water course. Some of the leakage is being pumped back into sludge ponds and back-up pools. The nickel content of waterways north of the leak near the Oulu River has declined to 0.4 milligrams per litre. At its highest late Monday night nickel was measured at 1.5 milligrams per litre. The mine’s environmental permit stipulates a limit of 0.5 milligrams per litre, with an upper limit of 1.0 milligram per litre. Talvivaara officials are hoping to resume suspended operations at the mine. However the Kainuu Employment and Economic Development Centre ( Ely-keskus) does not see the company resuming production before the company delivers a technical report on operational security for the waste ponds, and before the Centre accepts such a report http://yle.fi/uutiset/talvivaara_waste_water_leak_located/6367543 Accident investigation revealed deficiencies in process safety management of Talvivaara Sotkamo Ltd 19/06/2012 The probable technical cause of the accident in the yard of the Talvivaara Sotkamo plant, which resulted in the death of an employee, was a reaction caused by limestone slurry pumped into a pre-neutralisation storage tank. As a result, carbon dioxide and hydrogen sulphide were released into the yard. The accident investigation conducted by the Finnish Safety and Chemicals Agency (Tukes) detected several safety deficiencies. A Talvivaara Sotkamo employee died in the yard of the plant during a sampling round on 15 March 2012. The cause of death was exposure to a high concentration of hydrogen sulphide. According to the investigation findings, a valve on the limestone slurry line had been left open in the plant hall on the morning of the accident. The slurry that had spilled onto the floor from the open valve ended up in the floor drain, from where the slurry was pumped by an auto-start pump into the pre-neutralisation storage tank located outside. The reaction of the storage tank solution and limestone slurry produced high levels of carbon dioxide which, while discharging from the tank, also caused a discharge of hydrogen sulphide from the gas space of the tank. In the windless conditions, the hydrogen sulphide levels remained high and the employee, who had been performing a sampling round without a respirator or gas meter, died. The pumping of limestone slurry from the floor drain into the storage tank had not been identified as a risk factor in risk assessments. The investigation team also noted other emission sources, as a result of which employees had recorded raised hydrogen sulphide levels in the area on previous occasions. Moreover, deficiencies were found in the maintenance and planning of the process equipment. The organisation’s handling and notification of hazardous situations were inadequate. Several deficiencies detected during the investigation have already undergone corrective measures. http://www.tukes.fi/en/Current-and-News/News/2Chemicals-and-gas/Accident-investigation-revealed-deficiencies-in-process-safety-management-of-Talvivaara-Sotkamo-Ltd/ Indications of poisoning detected in dead birds found in Talvivaara Niinistö: mine has until end of year to get its emission levels in order Ville Niinistö print this Signs of poisoning have been detected in the dead birds found in the Talvivaara mine area in Sotkamo in the Kainuu region. According to preliminary studies by the Finnish Food Safety Authority (EVIRA), the birds showed signs of aspirating or swallowing a toxic substance. A more detailed microscopic and chemical study is to be done later. There were no signs of violent trauma. Talvivaara has come under fire in recent months for sulphate emissions which have sharply exceeded permissible levels. A total of 30 dead birds were found recently in the process solution pool at the mine, and the laboratory studies found indications of poisoning in the respiratory and digestive tracts of a number of the birds. EVIRA researcher Marja Isomursu estimated that more detailed results would be available after several weeks. http://www.hs.fi/english/article/Indications+of+poisoning+detected+in+dead+birds+found+in+Talvivaara+/ 1329103967728 Previously in HS International Edition: Large number of dead birds found in process liquid pool at Talvivaara mine (30.4.2012) Emissions from Talvivaara mining complex could hurt Sotkamo tourism (26.4.2012) Sulphate emissions vastly understated in environmental impact study for Talvivaara mine (28.3.2012)

interpretation of current statutory language - Submitted by Katie Whitehead - 11/12/2012 2:26:46 PM
Comments/Questions: Request submitted by Katie Whitehead on November 12, 2012: Members of the UWG, please provide your interpretation of the current statutory language that says: "and until a program for permitting uranium mining is established by statute?" No agency of the Commonwealth can accept an application for a uranium mining permit unless this condition has been met. How do you envision such a "program?" What do you think would have to be included in a "a program for permitting uranium mining?" What does "a program... established by statute" mean?
Uranium Working Group Response: The current statutory language prohibits any agency from permitting uranium mining until statutory authority to do so has been granted by the General Assembly. The General Assembly could provide a broad authority and leave the establishment of the "program" to the agencies to establish through regulations or provide a prescriptive program in the statute itself, similar to the structure provided in the 1984 legislation.

UWG assessment of economic impacts and protections - Submitted by Katie Whitehead - 11/12/2012 10:48:39 AM
Comments/Questions: Question submitted by Katie Whitehead on November 12, 2012: What is the status of UWG work on Gov. McDonnell’s directive task #18, which requires assessing (1) the impacts of a uranium project on local and state economic development and (2) how existing businesses, industries, individuals and property might be protected? The UWG announced at its October 17 meeting that Office Remedies Inc. (ORI) had been awarded a subcontract for a socioeconomic study (including a survey on stigma) and that the ORI proposal would be posted on the UWG website.
Uranium Working Group Response: Work related to Directive Task #18 will be addressed at the November 27, 2012 public meeting of the Uranium Working Group.

“regulatory framework” and “regulations” - Submitted by Katie Whitehead - 11/12/2012 10:46:31 AM
Comments/Questions: Question submitted by Katie Whitehead on November 12, 2012: What is a “regulatory framework?” What distinguishes a “regulatory framework” and “regulations?” Is the difference simply a matter of process, i.e. whether draft documents have been promulgated (made available for public comment) through the procedures of the Administrative Process Act? If not, what else makes them essentially different?
Uranium Working Group Response: A regulatory framework is an outline of what regulations may be needed if certain activities were authorized by the General Assembly and regulations are actual regulations promulgated using the Administrative Process Act which can only be done after statutory authority has been granted by the General Assembly.

Policy Decision & Execution - Submitted by Katie - 11/9/2012 9:35:19 PM
Comments/Questions: Question submitted by Katie Whitehead on November 9, 2012: Historically in Virginia, policy making precedes policy execution. State policy prohibits uranium mining. Does the General Assembly have to make a policy decision to allow uranium mining and provide guidance regarding the parameters of a uranium mining and milling regulatory program before authorizing state agencies to write uranium mining and milling regulations?
Uranium Working Group Response: The state policy prohibiting uranium mining was set by statute, just as any decision to allow it would be established by the General Assembly providing statutory authority. The current statutory language prohibits any agency from permitting uranium mining until statutory authority to do so has been granted by the General Assembly. The General Assembly could provide a broad authority and leave the establishment of the parameters of a uranium mining program to the agencies to establish through regulations or provide a prescriptive program in the statute itself, similar to the structure provided in the 1984 legislation. The General Assembly would not set parameters or provide guidance on the uranium milling regulatory program unless the Governor requested to become an Agreement state from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. At this time, Virginia is not an Agreement state with regard to uranium milling activity, so the NRC's regulatory program would be used to license and govern any milling activity proposed in the Commonwealth.

executive authority - Submitted by Katie - 11/9/2012 6:47:28 PM
Comments/Questions: Question submitted by Katie Whitehead on November 9, 2012: At present, does Governor McDonnell have the authority to direct state agencies to write uranium mining and milling regulations?
Uranium Working Group Response: Statutory authority would be required for agencies to promulgate regulations for uranium mining. Uranium milling is governed by federal NRC regulations currently as Virginia has not become an Agreement state with regard to uranium milling.

New Evidence should be considered! - Submitted by Deborah - 11/6/2012 11:20:18 AM
Comments/Questions: /////////////////////////////////////////// New Evidence Shows Power of East Coast Earthquakes Posted: 06 Nov 2012 04:30 AM PST http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/usgs/newsVA/~3/-sMpy8xxs10/article.asp?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email Virginia Earthquake Triggered Landslides at Great Distances Earthquake shaking in the eastern United States can travel much farther and cause damage over larger areas than previously thought. U.S. Geological Survey scientists found that last year's magnitude 5.8 earthquake in Virginia triggered landslides at distances four times farther-and over an area 20 times larger-than previous research has shown. "We used landslides as an example and direct physical evidence to see how far-reaching shaking from east coast earthquakes could be," said Randall Jibson, USGS scientist and lead author of this study. "Not every earthquake will trigger landslides, but we can use landslide distributions to estimate characteristics of earthquake energy and how far regional ground shaking could occur." "Scientists are confirming with empirical data what more than 50 million people in the eastern U.S. experienced firsthand: this was one powerful earthquake," said USGS Director Marcia McNutt. "Calibrating the distance over which landslides occur may also help us reach back into the geologic record to look for evidence of past history of major earthquakes from the Virginia seismic zone." This study will help inform earthquake hazard and risk assessments as well as emergency preparedness, whether for landslides or other earthquake effects. This study also supports existing research showing that although earthquakes are less frequent in the East, their damaging effects can extend over a much larger area as compared to the western United States. The research is being presented today at the Geological Society of America conference, and will be published in the December 2012 issue of the Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America. The USGS found that the farthest landslide from the 2011 Virginia earthquake was 245 km (150 miles) from the epicenter. This is by far the greatest landslide distance recorded from any other earthquake of similar magnitude. Previous studies of worldwide earthquakes indicated that landslides occurred no farther than 60 km (36 miles) from the epicenter of a magnitude 5.8 earthquake. "What makes this new study so unique is that it provides direct observational evidence from the largest earthquake to occur in more than 100 years in the eastern U.S," said Jibson. "Now that we know more about the power of East Coast earthquakes, equations that predict ground shaking might need to be revised." It is estimated that approximately one-third of the U.S. population could have felt last year's earthquake in Virginia, more than any earthquake in U.S. history. About 148,000 people reported their ground-shaking experiences caused by the earthquake on the USGS "Did You Feel It?" website. Shaking reports came from southeastern Canada to Florida and as far west as Texas. In addition to the great landslide distances recorded, the landslides from the 2011 Virginia earthquake occurred in an area 20 times larger than expected from studies of worldwide earthquakes. Scientists plotted the landslide locations that were farthest out and then calculated the area enclosed by those landslides. The observed landslides from last year's Virginia earthquake enclose an area of about 33,400 km2, while previous studies indicated an expected area of about 1,500 km2 from an earthquake of similar magnitude. "The landslide distances from last year's Virginia earthquake are remarkable compared to historical landslides across the world and represent the largest distance limit ever recorded," said Edwin Harp, USGS scientist and co-author of this study. "There are limitations to our research, but the bottom line is that we now have a better understanding of the power of East Coast earthquakes and potential damage scenarios." The difference between seismic shaking in the East versus the West is due in part to the geologic structure and rock properties that allow seismic waves to travel farther without weakening. Learn more about the 2011 central Virginia earthquake. Landslides triggered from the 2011 magnitude 5.8 earthquake in Virginia occurred at far greater distances than expected. The farthest landslide was 245 km from the epicenter; based on previous studies of worldwide earthquakes, landsliding would have been expected to occur no farther than 60 km from the epicenter. ((High resolution image) Did You Feel It? East vs West: This image illustrates how earthquakes are felt over much larger areas in the eastern U.S. than those west of the Rocky Mountains. The map compares USGS "Did You Feel It?" data from the magnitude 5.8 earthquake on August 23, 2011 in central Virginia (green) to data from an earthquake of similar magnitude and depth in California (red). ((High resolution image)

best management practices report - Submitted by Suzanne - 11/2/2012 9:25:22 AM
Comments/Questions: Reviewing the documents produced by Wright Environmental makes it abundantly clear that the risks associated with uranium mining and milling are unacceptable. Appropriately they do not claim there is no risk, but the best management practices can at best minimize impacts, they cannot eliminate risk. It is simple unacceptable to take on any risk when the benefit will accrue only to hegdge funds and other investors who have no regard for the landscapes and lives hurt by their search for profit. Nuclear energy is so 20th century and mining for jobs is so 19th century.

Ban Uranium Mining in Virginia - Submitted by Jennifer - 10/24/2012 2:59:38 PM
Comments/Questions: Who can I express my concerns to about uranium mining in Virginia ? I cannot believe that anyone would even entertain the idea of mining radioactive materials in this community. There is not enough data to suggest that this can be done safely in an area with a high water table. If this mining is allowed, it will destroy our water, our town and surrounding communities. I have read of studies conducted in desert like conditions in Australia whereby uranium mining occurred. Even the fact that the water table is very low in the desert, uranium particles were found in air samples within a 1000 mile radius !!!! The benefits do not outweight the risks involved here. I want to do whatever I can to help make sure this ban is never lifted !!! There is no amount of money that could be made from mining uranium that is worth the serious health risks posed on the community. If this ban is ever lifted, each and every member of this town and surrounding counties for up to a 1000 mile radius should be paid the sum of money that it would take for us to move elsewhere. If I tried to sell my house, who would buy ?? Someone with a death wish ?? Our properties will be ruined, our lives will be totally devastated. For what ??? So there could be a grand total of about 40 jobs created in the area....and for how long would these jobs last...certainly not long !!! Once mining is complete and no human life can be sustained in the area what good is anything ?? How can anyone think of destroying the environment like this ??...for a couple of lousy jobs that won't last !!! Obviously, there is some much bigger reason why anyone would be in favor of doing something like this. The one and only reason that I can think of is....a select few wealthy individuals that already have some serious money stakes in uranium mining. I have read of a political figure in the area whose relative has a multi-million dollar stake in it. I would like to invite you, your spouses, your parents, your children, your grandchildren, your animals and every last single thing you hold near and dear to your heart to come on down !!! That's right !!! All of you come on down and visit if mining takes place. Set up a tent at the dig site. Bring your water bottles so you can fill up when you're thirsty. Make sure you take some deep breaths now. Now, that money that pads your pockets won't do you much good when you find you're dying from exposure to radioactive materials that was never safe to mine in the first place. People in favor of this catastrophe better look long and hard. Why would any of us ever have to worry about Terrorism and Radical extremists who hate the USA when the real threat are the people that live right here ??!!The people that uphold dangerous activities in the name of money. Who cares who it hurts? Right ? Come on down. I'll help you set your tent up.

Uranium Study: - Submitted by Deborah - 10/23/2012 6:29:14 PM
Comments/Questions: Uranium Study:Air Quality Monitoring Report A suggested from the report as follows:5.4 Specific Points for Consideration – Predicting Radon Release from Uranium Extraction Residues the regulatory structure should treat the facility as a single unit from the perspective of potential environmental impact. I do not see any footnotes for the suggestion, where did Wright get his info? http://www.uwg.vi.virginia.gov/pdf/VDEQ%20Air%20qual%20mon%20report%20Final%209%2014%2012.pdf Deb Dix Keep the Uranium Mining Ban
Uranium Working Group Response: There is no footnote because the comment that "the regulatory structure should treat the facility as a single unit" is a suggestion from WES to the Commonwealth. Their intent is to suggest, that, when assessing the potential emissions or air quality impacts from a co-located mine and mill, these emissions and impacts not be segregated or treated separately because some are from a mine and some are from a mill and are somehow different as is done in some states. Rather, they suggest that all air emissions and potential impacts, whether from a mine or a mill, be considered together as similar and in their totality. For example, in Wyoming, Clean Air Act permits do not consider radon or radionulcide emissions from mines or mills while NRC emission limits on radon and radioparticulates address only emissions from mills and not mines, because the NRC does not regulate mines. WES is suggesting that the Commonwealth, should it authorize uranium mining in the future, consider adding radon and radioparticulates to their State list of toxic air constituents and monitor and assess emissions from both mines and mills more comprehensively than has historically been done in other states.

recent report - Submitted by k - 10/22/2012 11:10:32 AM
Comments/Questions: Recently the Mayor of Williamston, NC wrote the Pittsylvania BOS an told of his communities water woes and how phosphate mining had drawn down the area's water table. http://www2.godanriver.com/news/2012/oct/14/nc-mayor-wants-uranium-ban-ar-2279655/ Links below that illustrate effects of groundwater withdrawal on the east coast. The article below from the Huffington Post is of interest and causes questions regarding effects of core drilling and hydro fracturing during exploration for uranium and subsequent dewatering at uranium mines. It has been stated that the Coles Hill deposit is located on an inactive fault. Could the fault be weakened and cause problems by exploration, mining and water withdrawals? Could the potential for earthquakes be increased is multiple mines exist in the region? http://sc.water.usgs.gov/projects/gwavailability/ http://water.usgs.gov/ogw/pubs/fs00165/ http://www.ncwater.org/Permits_and_Registration/Capacity_Use/Central_Coastal_Plain/landsub.php http://sc.water.usgs.gov/projects/gwavailability/ http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/21/scientists-link-deep-well_n_1997629.html MADRID (AP) — Farmers drilling ever deeper wells over decades to water their crops likely contributed to a deadly earthquake in southern Spain last year, a new study suggests. The findings may add to concerns about the effects of new energy extraction and waste disposal technologies. Nine people died and nearly 300 were injured when an unusually shallow magnitude-5.1 quake hit the town of Lorca on May 11, 2011. It was the country's worst quake in more than 50 years, causing millions of euros in damage to a region with an already fragile economy. Using satellite images, scientists from Canada, Italy and Spain found the quake ruptured a fault running near a basin that had been weakened by 50 years of groundwater extraction in the area. During this period, the water table dropped by 250 meters (274 yards) as farmers bored ever deeper wells to help produce the fruit, vegetables and meat that are exported from Lorca to the rest of Europe. In other words, the industry that propped up the local economy in southern Spain may have undermined the very ground on which Lorca is built. The researchers noted that even without the strain caused by water extraction, a quake would likely have occurred at some point. But the extra stress of pumping vast amounts of water from a nearby aquifer may have been enough to trigger a quake at that particular time and place, said lead researcher Pablo J. Gonzalez of the University of Western Ontario, Canada. Miguel de las Doblas Lavigne, a geologist with Spain's National Natural Science Museum who has worked on the same theory but was not involved in the study, said the Lorca quake was in the cards. "This has been going on for years in the Mediterranean areas, all very famous for their agriculture and plastic greenhouses. They are just sucking all the water out of the aquifers, drying them out," he told The Associated Press in a telephone interview. "From Lorca to (the regional capital of) Murcia you can find a very depleted water level." De las Doblas said it was "no coincidence that all the aftershocks were located on the exact position of maximum depletion." "The reason is clearly related to the farming, it's like a sponge you drain the water from; the weight of the rocks makes the terrain subside and any small variation near a very active fault like the Alhama de Murcia may be the straw that breaks the camel*s back, which is what happened," he said. He said excess water extraction was common in Spain. "Everybody digs their own well, they don't care about anything," he said. "I think in Lorca you may find that some 80 percent of wells are illegal." Lorca town hall environment chief Melchor Morales said the problem dates back to the 1960s when the region opted to step up its agriculture production and when underground water was considered private property. A 1986 law has reduced the amount of well pumping, he said. Not everyone agreed with the conclusion of the study, which was published online Sunday in Nature Geoscience. "There have been earthquakes of similar intensity and similar damage caused in the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries when there was no excess water extraction," said Jose Martinez Diez, a professor in geodynamics at Madrid's Complutense University who has also published a paper on the quake. Still, it isn't the first time that earthquakes have been blamed on human activity, and scientists say the incident points to the need to investigate more closely how such quakes are triggered and how to prevent them. The biggest man-made quakes are associated with the construction of large dams, which trap massive amounts of water that put heavy pressure on surrounding rock. The 1967 Koynanagar earthquake in India, which killed more than 150 people, is one such case, said Marco Bohnhoff, a geologist at the German Research Centre for Geosciences in Potsdam who wasn't involved in the Lorca study. Bohnhoff said smaller man-made quakes can also occur when liquid is pumped into the ground. A pioneering geothermal power project in the Swiss city of Basel was abandoned in 2009 after it caused a series of earthquakes. Nobody was injured, but the tremors caused by injecting cold water into hot rocks to produce steam resulted in millions of Swiss francs (dollars) damage to buildings. Earlier this year, a report by the National Research Council in the United States found the controversial practice of hydraulic fracturing to extract natural gas was not a huge source of man-made earthquakes. However, the related practice of shooting large amounts of wastewater from "fracking" or other drilling activities into deep underground storage wells has been linked with some small earthquakes. In an editorial accompanying the Lorca study, geologist Jean-Philippe Avouac of the California Institute of Technology said it was unclear whether human activity merely induces quakes that would have happened anyway at a later date. He noted that the strength of the quake appeared to have been greater than the stress caused by removing the groundwater. "The earthquake therefore cannot have been caused entirely by water extraction," wrote Avouac. "Instead, it must have built up over several centuries." Still, pumping out the water may have affected how the stress was released, and similar processes such as fracking or injecting carbon dioxide into the ground — an idea that has been suggested to reduce the greenhouse effect — could theoretically do the same, he said. Once the process is fully understood, "we might dream of one day being able to tame natural faults with geo-engineering," Avouac said. ___

Cotter Mill - Submitted by Deborah - 10/21/2012 9:05:09 PM
Comments/Questions: Environment Colorado makes legal peace with Cotter Corp. in push for mine cleanup Posted: 10/03/2012 12:01:00 AM MDT October 3, 2012 7:53 AM GMTUpdated: 10/03/2012 01:53:52 AM MDTBy Bruce Finley The Denver Postdenverpost.com Colorado has made legal peace with Cotter Corp. in a push for quicker cleanup of a mine leaking uranium into a creek that reaches a Denver Water reservoir. The latest test data show that highly toxic water in the Schwartzwalder mine's main shaft seeps underground into Ralston Creek, which flows to Ralston Reservoir. A settlement deal requires Cotter to pump and treat millions of gallons of water and lower the level to 150 feet below the top of that 2,000-foot-deep shaft. This is intended to prevent uranium — in concentrations up to 1,000 times the health standard — from contaminating water supplies. Cotter also must provide $3.5 million in financial assurance money to ensure cleanup of the mine west of Denver is done and pay a civil penalty of $55,000. Another $39,000 in penalties is to be waived. The deal, approved by state regulators, ends Cotter's lawsuits challenging state orders to clean up the mine and the creek. A state judge ruled in favor of regulators and Cotter appealed the decision. "We're happy to see Cotter rolling up its sleeves and getting to work," said Loretta Pineda, director of Colorado's Division of Reclamation, Mining and Safety. "It's critical that the remedy at the Schwartzwalder site move forward to reduce pollution in Ralston Creek." Denver Water officials are reviewing Cotter's plans. "We support the resolution reached between the Mined Land Reclamation Board and Cotter -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Advertisement -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Corporation to initiate immediate mine dewatering," utility spokeswoman Stacy Chesney said. "Our current treatment process removes uranium at the present levels in the raw water, so our drinking water is safe." Cotter officials couldn't be reached. For more than two years after contamination of Ralston Creek was made public, Cotter defied state orders to clean up Schwartzwalder — once the nation's largest underground uranium mine, producing 17 million pounds of uranium for nuclear weapons and power plants. Cotter closed the mine in 2000 and water-treatment facilities were dismantled. This year, Cotter began dealing with the problem by rerouting Ralston Creek through an 18-inch pipe running 4,000 feet around the mine. Cotter officials contend that, while underground pathways may carry uranium to the creek, pumping toxic water out of the mine makes no sense and could cost more than $10 million because groundwater would continue to fill up the mine shaft and turn toxic through contact with exposed minerals. Cotter favors keeping the highly toxic water inside the mine shaft and treating it there. They propose to mix molasses and alcohol into uranium-laced water to feed bacteria already in the mine shaft — bacteria that could bond with uranium and separate it from water so that it could settle deep underground. But water tests done after rerouting of the creek "made it immediately evident that the mine pool was leaking out" to the creek, where uranium concentrations remain around 30 parts per billion, state environmental protection specialist Tony Waldron said. The rerouting is not intended to be permanent, and Cotter is to submit a long-term plan for review by state regulators. Settling legal disputes "allows us to work more closely with the company," Pineda said. "We're working toward mitigation and reclamation rather than litigation." Read more: Colorado makes legal peace with Cotter Corp. in push for mine cleanup - The Denver Post http://www.denverpost.com/recommended/ci_21684619#ixzz29zA1qrHi Read The Denver Post's Terms of Use of its content: http://www.denverpost.com/termsofuse

Email list - Submitted by Tim - 10/19/2012 9:51:52 AM
Comments/Questions: Please add me to your email list for notifications.

Chatham Mining - Submitted by Jeremy - 10/16/2012 4:17:17 PM
Comments/Questions: As someone who works with uranium on a daily basis I believe that the mining can and will be done safely and responsibly. I understand there will be challenges to overcome, but I support the mining in my town.

uranium mining - Submitted by Susan - 10/16/2012 1:09:30 PM
Comments/Questions: As a teacher, more specifically a science teacher, it is complete stupidity NOT to mine our natural resources in a responsible manner. The uranium WILL eventually be mined, so get rid of the antiquated ban and do something progressive for a change!!!!!

uranium mining and nuclear energy - Submitted by Christopher - 10/16/2012 1:04:44 PM
Comments/Questions: I support uranium mining and nuclear energy!

meeting tomarrow - Submitted by Daniel - 10/16/2012 12:01:02 PM
Comments/Questions: I am for any clean energy that can support our state. If this can create jobs for our state and we can keep things clean to the point that this will not harm the water or poision the ground water, I would have to be for this.

Follow-up Questions - Submitted by Katie - 10/16/2012 10:31:52 AM
Comments/Questions: Follow-up questions submitted by Katie Whitehead on October 15, 2012: Who is ORI? What does ORI stand for? Please post more specific information on this and other subcontracts or let us know where information is available. What other subcontracts has Wright Environmental awarded? I see no information on the UWG site about subcontracts. You state in your “Process to be used by the UWG” document, “We will endeavor to release draft reports in advance of public meetings to allow time for review and related public comment.” Will a draft UWG report and a draft report using ORI findings be released for public comment prior to the December and January delivery deadlines? If so, when? If not, what draft reports did/do you plan to release? Please be specific. No reports posted on the UWG documents web page are identified as “draft reports.”
Uranium Working Group Response: ORI Results is a Herndon, Virginia based research firm that specializes in customized market research and strategic business intelligence. ORI stands for Office Remedies Inc. They are part of the WES team. All of WES interim reports on various topics have been posted to the site as have the UWG's presentations/interim reports and been available for public comment at our public meetings, through this web portal or by mail. The final report of the UWG that incorporates public feedback on its interim reports will be provided to the Governor on December 1, 2012 and a public presentation of the report/UWG findings will be made to the Coal and Energy Commission in mid-December. Public comment will be taken at that meeting. We are working with the Chairman to schedule that meeting and will post the details to this site as soon as we have them.

What happened to the RFP on stigma? - Submitted by Katie - 10/15/2012 10:59:04 AM
Comments/Questions: Comment submitted by Katie Whitehead on October 15: UWG members at the September 17 meeting in Chatham confirmed that the RFP published by the Virginia Economic Development Partnership (RFP 12-006 Consulting Services – Uranium Mining and Milling Impact Study) on the eVA website was intended to provide assistance to the UWG in addressing Task #18 in the Governor’s Directive. We were told at the meeting that information about the RFP was already posted on the UWG site or would be shortly. I don’t see it. Is it posted? How is the UWG fulfilling the directive to “extensively consider and seek public input regarding: (a) impacts on local and statewide economic development and measures that may be taken to prevent negative impacts, and capture potential opportunities for positive impact, and (b) the protection of existing businesses, industries, individuals and property that may be impacted by a potential uranium mine/mill site and a process for the assessment of impact and appropriate response.” The RFP suggested surveying existing Virginia businesses, economic development consultants and site selection consultants in order to determine whether the presence of a uranium mining and milling operation in one area of the Commonwealth would have a positive or a negative influence on economic development opportunities in that region and across the Commonwealth. Is a contract being negotiated regarding this or any other work for the UWG by private consultants?
Uranium Working Group Response: The work is being done by a subcontractor to Wright Environmental Services, ORI, and encompasses all of the items you have listed. They will provide an interim report for the November 27th meeting of the Uranium Working Group and their final report will be completed in early-mid January.

Energy mix - Submitted by Eric - 10/14/2012 5:27:41 AM
Comments/Questions: As a VA tax payer, I believe it is absurd for you to consider uranium mining when VA has yet to adopt a statewide policy for the deployment of renewable energy. Where is the balance?

tailings storage - Submitted by Suzanne - 10/11/2012 12:02:05 PM
Comments/Questions: How long have underground cells been used for containing tailings from uranium mining. Are there any instances of failure of these underground cells and subsequent contamination? What is the "life" expectancy of a containment cell? What is the probability that these cells will fail?
Uranium Working Group Response: These issues will be addressed at the October 17th meeting of the Uranium Working Group.

legislation - Submitted by Suzanne - 10/11/2012 11:45:06 AM
Comments/Questions: Does the URG have copies or drafts of legislation being prepared for the 2013 Session of the GA. If no, then who is working on legislation for the 2013 session?
Uranium Working Group Response: The Uranium Working Group will provide a conceptual statutory and regulatory framework. Legislation is introduced by members of the General Assembly, so if legislation is being prepared it would be drafted by a member of the legislature with the assistance of the Division of Legislative Services.

risk mining and milling - Submitted by Suzanne - 10/11/2012 10:44:53 AM
Comments/Questions: Please provide examples of alternatives for economic development to uranium mining in southside. So far, studies have focused on the obvious economic activity generated by an industrial mining site. Also please provide visual aerial photos of an active uranium mining and milling site that is comparable to Coles Hill.
Uranium Working Group Response: Alternative economic development opportunities for Southside, Virginia is outside the scope of our work. You may contact the Virginia Economic Development Partnership to inquire what types of businesses they try to recruit or have expressed interest in that area of the Commonwealth. Aerial photos of an active comparable site will be presented at the October 17th meeting of the Uranium Working Group. That presentation, including the aerial photos, will be posted later today (October 16).

letters - Submitted by jesse - 10/10/2012 2:18:28 PM
Comments/Questions: You have the letters, one from Halifax board of supervisors, and gov. mcdonnels response, mixed up at the top of the page. Typical sloppy work for the UWG...and what a bogus response to the halifax resolution from prince mcdonnell's office. All the UWG is doing is wasting time and the taxpayer's money while a colorado mining firm writes the regulations for uranium mining in virginia. This is a done deal and everyone knows it. NONE of you people in richmond live down here where the mining and milling will take place, therefore you feel as if you have nothing to lose by forcing it on us. WE DO NOT WANT URANIUM MINING HERE OR ANYWHERE IN VIRGINIA. BUT NOONE HEARS US WHEN WE SAY THAT, BECAUSE WE HAVE BEEN DESIGNATED A SACRIFICE ZONE BY THE CORPORATE INFLUENCED GOVERNOR AND HIS TEAM OF TRAINED PUPPETS. Why did Sen. Stanley call the Pittsylvania Board of supervisors and ask them to sit on their own resolution against uranium mining? Why does he want them to wait until AFTER the regulations are written to present their resolution? That makes no sense whatsoever. By then it will be TOO LATE. No one will pay any attention because you poeple in Richmond will all be tripping over yourselves to get the digging going. The greed and underhandedness involved in this issue are so blatantly transparent. I do not know how any of you can live with a clear conscience if this mining is allowed to go forward. Don't bother responding, not that you would anyway. I know everything will be discussed at a later date...after the mining has started.

Mailing List - Submitted by Brandon - 10/10/2012 10:08:20 AM
Comments/Questions: Please add me to the mailing list.

Time frame of report - Submitted by marshall - 10/8/2012 9:33:45 PM
Comments/Questions: Please provide me with the protocall of who gets to see the Uranium working groups report and when.This is my second attempt to acquire an answer to my question of when and who gets to see this report and in what order. Please e-mail or call me at 434-335-5967 or cell # 434-203-2203 Thanks I will be looking for your timely response.
Uranium Working Group Response: The Uranium Working Group's final report will be delivered to the Governor on December 1, 2012. We anticipate making a public presentation of our findings to the Coal and Energy Commission or its Uranium Subcommittee in mid-December. We are currently working with the Chairman to schedule that presentation. The details will be posted to our website as soon as they are finalized.

release of report - Submitted by marshall - 10/4/2012 7:59:12 PM
Comments/Questions: I need to know if the report will be released to public on December 1,2012 or will it be made public after it is presented to Legislatures in Janurary? Please respond Sincerely, Marshall A. Ecker Pittsylvania County Board of Supervisors Staunton River District
Uranium Working Group Response: The report will be provided to the Governor on December 1, 2012 and presented publicly to the Coal and Energy Commission in mid-December.

Mining has Negative Effects on Real Estate - Submitted by Deborah - 10/1/2012 1:42:27 PM
Comments/Questions: Mining has Negative Effects on Real Estate(Deb Dix) 7 neighborhood threats to your home's value Who — or what — is next door can affect how much people will pay for your home. A “bad” neighbor can also be a business or government enterprise whose very existence drives down the value of your property. Here are seven surprising neighbors that can reduce your home’s value: Power plants. The data are fairly clear on the impact of a power plant on nearby home values — it usually hurts them. A study (PDF) from the University of California at Berkeley shows that home values within two miles of a power plant can be decreased between 4% and 7%. Landfills. A study (PDF) from the Pima County, Ariz., assessor’s office shows that a subdivision near a landfill loses 6% to 10% in value compared with a subdivision that isn’t near a landfill — all other residential factors being equal, including house size, school quality and residential incomes. Robert A. Simons, an urban planning professor at Cleveland State University, says that if you live within two miles of a Superfund site — a landfill that the government designates as a hazardous-waste site — your home’s value could decline by up to 15%. http://realestate.msn.com/7-neighborhood-threats-to-your-homes-value Instream Gravel Mining and Related Issues inSouthern Missouri On the other side of economic benefits of gravel mining is the possi-bility of negative effects in wetlands, recreational areas, riverine habitat, and a potential loss of land. A study conducted by Arkansas State Univer-sity (Kaminarides and others, 1996), in an area similar to southern Mis-souri, determined that the economic benefits of instream gravel mining did not outweigh the environmental costs in Crooked Creek and Kings, Spring, Illinois, and Caddo Rivers in Arkansas. The environmental costs were listed as money lost from farms, real estate, fisheries, and recreation. These conclusions indicated that cal changes can result in increased although instream gravel mining was stream turbidity and temperature. an important industry, mining would The removal of the larger gravel par-not be acceptable or safe in some ticles releases fine sediment into the streams as it was being practiced. http://mo.water.usgs.gov/fact_sheets/wtrqual/Gravel/fs012.02.pdf The Impact of Surface Coal Mining on Residential (used other studies) Property Values: A Hedonic Price Analysis Boxall, et al. (2005) examined the implicit costs of rural residential property values near oil and gas facilities. They found that property values within 4 kilometers of the facilities were estimated to be reduced between 4 and 8 percent. Finally, Ihlanfeldt and Taylor (2004) also carried out a study examining the impact of hazardous waste sites on property values. They found that the loss in value of all properties, not just residential properties, in Fulton County, Georgia, could be as large as $1 billion. All of these studies were able to focus on a small number of counties and use geographic software to estimate the exact distance of a property to a certain undesirable entity. Their results consistently show that as a property gets closer to this undesirable factor, the market value of the property lowers significantly. This supports our hypothesis that an increase in surface coal mines will have a negative impact on residential property values. http://trace.tennessee.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=2443&context=utk_chanhonoproj Binational Forum examines the economic impact of mining Tom Power, professor emeritus of the University of Montana Department of Economics, said that mining’s impact on the local economy “often isn’t that spectacular. …Mining doesn’t always bring prosperity.” The industry’s boom and bust nature sometimes leaves poverty and joblessness in its wake. People stick around mining communities after the most of the jobs are gone, hoping they will be the lucky ones who will be hired for what’s left of the mining operation. Power conducted a long-term study that showed population grown near zero in former mining communities, per capita incomes 20 percent lower than in other areas, and payrolls that grew on average only half as fast as in non-mining-dependent communities. Power suggested four reasons for this: 1) The worldwide market for minerals is volatile; 2) as technology develops, fewer people are needed to do the same amount of work; 3) environmental restoration is an economic drain; and 4) other “more viable” industries are displaced. Power recommended more critical evaluation of the long-term costs and benefits of mining projects. What will the community do with the houses, streets, schools, and fire halls it built during the boom period? What will home values be? Power has studied the economy of the Iron Range and found that when mining jobs decreased, other sectors of the economy expanded, diversifying the overall economy. Businesses have moved to where workers and customers are located, and with a “significant increase in retirement-related income flowing into Iron Range communities,” medical and health services jobs have seen rapid growth. Small communities, good schools, low crime, scenic beauty, wildlife, and outdoor recreation have attracted people to the area, he said. “Environmental quality is not just a matter of 'prettiness,' or aesthetic preferences,” said Power. “it is a central part of any region’s economic base and its potential for economic vitality. http://www.cookcountynews-herald.com/news/2012-04-28/General_News/Binational_Forum_examines_the_economic_impact_of_m.html 1. The Revival of Uranium Mining in New Mexico: A Bonanza or Just ... wman-info.org/.../Dr%20Tom%20Power- ... File Format: Microsoft Powerpoint - Quick View Thinking about the “Economics” of Mining: New Mexico Uranium Mining Thomas Michael Power Research Professor Department of Economics The University of Scoping Comment Document: Analyses of Economic Costs of the Proposed Rosemont Copper Project Prepared by THOMAS MICHAEL POWER, PhD Consulting Economist Power Consulting 920 Evans Avenue Missoula, Montana 59801 Prepared for and with assistance from: The Mountain Empire Action Alliance For submittal to: Coronado National Forest Rosemont Copper Project EIS Project Reta Laford, Acting Forest Supervisor Overview This Scoping Comment Document consists of the materials indexed on the following page. These materials have been prepared as formal Scoping Comments on the Proposed Rosemont Copper Project, specifically in response to the Rosemont Economic Impacts Study and the Tucson Forum sponsored and conducted by Rosemont. A review of the Rosemont Economic Impact Study, the press articles that followed the release of the Rosemont study, and the widespread public relations campaign mounted by Rosemont and focused solely on the alleged economic benefits of the proposed mine, clearly warranted an informed response. Somewhat ironically, the study reporting on the Rosemont Economic Impacts, actually focused exclusively on the purported economic “benefits”, with virtually no mention of any “costs” or “adverse impacts” to either the public or private sector. In light of this unbalanced story of the economic effects of the Rosemont proposal, the Mountain Empire Action Alliance, a Sonoita-based community organization dedicated to maintaining the quality of life and livelihoods in the greater Sonoita Basin, commissioned Dr. Thomas Power, Research Professor and Professor Emeritus, Department of Economics, University of Montana, to conduct an independent, objective study of the economic impacts of the proposed Rosemont Mine. Dr. Power was specifically asked to address the adverse economic impacts that the proposed Rosemont Mine would pose to our local businesses, regional economy, and quality of life. Dr. Power is a nationally recognized expert on the economic impacts of industrial exploitation of natural resources on surrounding communities, and is the author of “LOST LANDSCAPES AND FAILED ECONOMIES: THE SEARCH FOR A VALUE OF PLACE.” In his book, Dr. Power makes a persuasive case that preservation of the natural landscape can be more valuable to the local community’s long-term economic development and health than the short-lived value of extracting and processing local natural resources. For almost 40 years, Dr. Power has been applying the analytical tools of Natural Resource Economics and Regional Economics to public policy issues, focusing on how extractive industries such as mining are intertwined with and adversely impacting environmental factors central to local economic vitality and well being. During his career, Dr. Power has assisted over 50 local and state governments, non-governmental organizations, and Tribal governments. The scoping comments set forth herein were specifically prepared as scoping comments in order to assist the Coronado National Forest and their associated consultants in preparing a Draft Environmental Impact Statement that incorporated a full discussion of the economic and non-market costs and benefits of the proposed Rosemont Copper Project. http://www.rosemontminetruth.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/10/Tom_Power_Report_Combined.pdf 1. [PDF] The Economic Role of Metal Mining in Minnesota - Friends of the ... friendscvsf.org/Miningreport10-4.pdf File Format: PDF/Adobe Acrobat - Quick View by TM Power - 2007 - Cited by 3 - Related articles Thomas Michael Power. Economics Department. University ... New Metal Mining for Minnesota: Economic Boom or Set-Back to. Diversification and Sustainability ... 2. [PDF] Mining and Local Economic Well Being: Weighing Benefits and ... mn.water.usgs.gov/.../TMPower%20Benefis- ... File Format: PDF/Adobe Acrobat - Quick View A More Holistic Economic. Evaluation of Mining: Considering Benefits and Costs. Thomas Michael Power. The University of Montana and. Power Consulting, Inc.

Public Comments - Submitted by Allison - 9/28/2012 4:00:30 PM
Comments/Questions: What is the deadline for public comments on the draft report? Is this the draft report? http://www.uwg.vi.virginia.gov/pdf/VDEQ%20Initial%20Report%20Exec%20Summ%206%2015%2012.pdf What is the final report being issued? Thank you
Uranium Working Group Response: The report you identify in your question is only the initial report from our consultant. There are several other interim reports that Wright Environmental Services has provided and will provide throughout our study. Their final report to us will be posted in early November. The Uranium Working Group's final report will be delivered to the Governor on December 1, 2012. We anticipate making a public presentation of our findings to the Coal and Energy Commission or its Uranium Subcommittee in mid-December. We are currently working with the Chairman to schedule that presentation. The details will be posted to our website as soon as they are finalized.

uranium mining - Submitted by Tuckie - 9/28/2012 9:46:48 AM
Comments/Questions: Please do not lift the ban on uranium mining in VA. We simply do not know enough to ensure safety either to the environment or the population. In addition there is going to be a reduced need for uranium and other countries can fill the need that there is.

ban on mining - Submitted by Fayetta - 9/27/2012 9:02:18 PM
Comments/Questions: I strongly oppose lifting of the ban. There are too many unanswered safety questions with terrifying, long-term consequences if we don't get it right, are just unlucky or are hit by a major hurricane. Please leave the ban in place. The promise of short-term job creation is not worth the gamble.

Uranium Tailings & Waste - Submitted by Mark - 9/27/2012 5:46:33 PM
Comments/Questions: I have followed this subject for years. Nothing in the reports produced so far categorically states how the uranium tailings (waste rock) will be secured to prevent radioactive air or water pollution. Given Virginia's climate (i.e. frequent hurricanes and tornados), the Piedmont having major faults as witnessed by the earthquake in Louisa last year, and the the acknowledgement that once the mining operations are finished, the waste byproducts will need to be maintained for 225,000 years (until the radioactivity breaks down) and the mine operators will be long gone. Who will protect the citizens from an accidental release from the storage pits? We have come a long way in regulating waste; however, it only takes one release to ruin the air, water and land resources forever. I say Keep The Ban!
Uranium Working Group Response: These issues will be addressed at the October 17th meeting of the Uranium Working Group.

keep the ban on uranium mining - Submitted by Sally - 9/27/2012 7:24:01 AM
Comments/Questions: Uranium mining and milling in Virginia is too risky to permit. It would destroy our health, our economy, and our environment. The ban must remain in place. thank you

Mailing List - Submitted by Ellie - 9/25/2012 3:31:47 PM
Comments/Questions: Please add me to the mailing list.

Keep the Ban on Uranium Mining - Submitted by Nancy - 9/24/2012 9:48:14 AM
Comments/Questions: I am opposed to lifting the ban on uranium mining in VA. The risks are too great. Providing jobs is necessary but at what cost? Our water supply is critical and containing the residue from uranium mining is problematic. It isn't worth the risk. Let's generate jobs that do not compromise our environment. Thanks for your work on behalf of all Virginians to keep our state as environmentally safe as possible. peace, nancy

Virginia Uranium Mining - Submitted by Carla - 9/24/2012 9:29:08 AM
Comments/Questions: I am in support of keeping the mining of uranium in Pittsylvania County within Virginia State Regulation.

please post governor's directive - Submitted by Katie - 9/20/2012 2:48:44 PM
Comments/Questions: Submission dated September 20, 2012 from Katie Whitehead: Please post the Governor’s Directive that established the Uranium Working Group, i.e. Governor McDonnell’s January 19th letter to the Secretaries of Commerce and Trade, Natural Resources, and Health and Human Resources. I don’t see it among the Working Group Documents. It’s unfortunate that this has not been readily accessible from the time the website was established.
Uranium Working Group Response: It has been on the website from the very beginning. The link is on the home page of the website in the first paragraph.

Uranium Mining - Submitted by Maryann - 9/19/2012 8:32:08 AM
Comments/Questions: The mining of uranium in Pittsylvania County should be controlled within the State Regulation versus Federal.

safety concerns - Submitted by Barbara - 9/18/2012 3:42:08 PM
Comments/Questions: I am not opposed to the uranium mining in Virginia so long as the Commonwealth of Virginia develops and enforces safety regulations for workers and the environment.

What is the cost and who's going to pay it? - Submitted by Anne - 9/18/2012 6:04:41 AM
Comments/Questions: Has the uranium working group figured out what it will cost to safely store the toxic waste from mining and milling uranium for 80,000 years and who will be responsible for paying it? It seems this question is vital to this issue. This is a high risk project and the citizens of Virginia should not be expected to foot the bill so a few folks can make a profit and not be accountable for the costs.
Uranium Working Group Response: Issues related to tailings storage will be addressed at the October 17th meeting of the Uranium Working Group.

B.C. mining giant admits polluting U.S. waters - Submitted by Deborah - 9/17/2012 3:43:03 PM
Comments/Questions: Keep the ban, regulations and best practice is just a theory, Deb Dix: B.C. mining giant admits polluting U.S. waters Teck Resources acknowledges fouling Columbia River for more than 100 years The Canadian Press Posted: Sep 10, 2012 9:21 PM ET Last Updated: Sep 10, 2012 9:45 PM ET http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/story/2012/09/10/bc-teck-admits-columbia-river-pollution.html Teck responds to smelter illness accusations http://www.cbc.ca/daybreaksouth/news/2012/08/15/teck-responds-to-smelter-illness-accusations/ .Teck hit with record pollution fine Teck Resources Ltd. has been fined $115,000 for a chemical spill in the Columbia River last year. http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/story/2009/12/02/bc-teck-resources-spill-fine.html

uranium in northern Virginia area - Submitted by mary - 9/17/2012 2:27:50 PM
Comments/Questions: Could you please identify Virginia uranium deposits that are closest to the Northern Virginia area? Could you please identify the watershed for those deposits?
Uranium Working Group Response: There are no uranium “deposits” presently recognized as such in the Northern Virginia area. The Coles Hill site is presently the only known uranium "deposit" in Virginia. A mineral "deposit" is an accumulation of ore (such as uranium-bearing minerals) by some natural process or agent, with an implied but uncertain potential economic value. There are some known uranium "occurrences" in Northern Virginia. A mineral "ocurrence" is a locality at which uranium-bearing minerals are known to exist in natural geologic materials, yet show no clear evidence of accumulation as a deposit. In the NAS report, there are several figures in Chapter 3 (notably Figure 3.3) that depict the locations of over 55 uranium occurrences in Virginia. These occurrences were not intended to represent known deposits with the potential economic ramifications, but rather intended to highlight bedrock geologic formations with the potential for elevated background uranium concentrations. The location(s) of uranium deposits with potential economic value, other than the Coles Hill deposit, can only be determined from additional exploratory activities, which requires a uranium exploration permit in Virginia.

monitoring site - Submitted by mary - 9/17/2012 2:21:16 PM
Comments/Questions: Virginia Uranium on its website notes that it has enough uranium to support all the nuclear reactors in the US for TWO years. Is that figure correct? It has been noted that the mining will occur over a period of 35 year. What kind of jobs will be available in Chatham and surrounding areas after 35 years? How many years will the disposal site have to be monitored and who will be the responsible party?
Uranium Working Group Response: The UWG cannot comment on specific information concerning the uranium resources, mine life, employment, etc., provided on the Virginia Uranium Inc. web site. Monitoring requirements for tailings disposal sites would be specified in a regulatory program for uranium mining and milling, if the moratorium on uranium mining in Virginia is lifted. The conceptual framework for monitoring requirements, including the duration of monitoring and the responsible party, is a topic that will be covered in the October and November public meetings.

safety - Submitted by mary - 9/17/2012 2:18:00 PM
Comments/Questions: Could the uranium working group post a list of uranium mining, milling, and waste disposal sites currently in United States? Could you also note if any of those sites are superfund sites? Could you also post the health risks related to urnaium mining for the miners and related workers? Those who think uranium mining is done safely in the United States may want to look at the Jackpile Mine in New Mexico. Those who think that the US monitors uranium facilities effectively might want to read Full Body Burden, growing up in the nuclear shadow of Rocky Flats.
Uranium Working Group Response: There is no single list of the existing uranium mines, mills and waste disposal sites in the US that we are aware of. In 2006, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published the Uranium Location Database (ULD) that provides an inventory of approximately 15,000 locations in fourteen western states, http://www.epa.gov/rpdweb00/docs/tenorm/402-r-05-009.pdf. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) provides an on-line database showing the world distribution of over 1,400 uranium deposits, http://infcis.iaea.org/UDEPO/Background.cshtml?page=background&RightP=Background. The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) compiles statistical data on uranium production from active mine sites in the U.S., http://www.eia.gov/nuclear/. The World Information Service on Energy (WISE) Uranium Project provides a useful on-line source for world-wide uranium mine and mill locations, http://www.wise-uranium.org/index.html. There are several uranium mines, mills and waste disposal facilities in the U.S. that are on the EPA Superfund list. On-line information about these sites can be accessed at the following EPA web site http://www.epa.gov/superfund/.

RE: Lift ban - Submitted by Small Business - MW - 9/14/2012 3:47:03 PM
Comments/Questions: If we are ever going to become energy independent we need to utilize all the options we have and uranium is one of those. Not only will this help us towards energy independence it will provide real jobs at beyond livable wages.

state vs fed guidelines - Submitted by Sandra - 9/14/2012 12:36:59 AM
Comments/Questions: The regulations on the mining of uranium in Pittsylvania should be on the state level not on the federal level. Any benefits to the mining of the uranium needs to stay in Virginia. If the risk is there - then the benefits should be there also.

Problems with mining in Utah - Submitted by Deborah - 9/13/2012 2:22:57 PM
Comments/Questions: Regulations and best practice is not working in hard rock mining, oil or anything regulated including nuclear, listed below are examples: Processing of uranium ores at White Mesa uranium mill Denison maintains that White Mesa mill is not the cause of excess nitrate and chloride concentrations found in groundwater at the mill site Processing of uranium ores at White Mesa uranium mill (Utah) White Mesa mill halts processing of uranium ores Denison Mines President Ron Hochstein said that Denison's White Mesa Mill, the nation's only operating uranium mill, has ceased its regular milling operations for the remainder of 2009. "We will stop processing conventional ore through 2009, but will be processing alternate feedstock on a reduced scale, and we'll be laying off some personnel," said Hochstein. "Our costs are higher than the current spot price." (Telluride Daily Planet May 9, 2009) Denison exceeds number of permitted truckloads hauling uranium ore from San Miguel County (Colorado) to White Mesa mill (Utah) http://www.wise-uranium.org/umopwm.html Russian company may get Utah town and uranium Hunter L. Diehl: Man found dead at Pandora Uranium Mine in La Sal http://obitsutah.com/obituary/329/hunter-l-diehl.htm Irresponsible industry… Moab Times Independent 10.07.10 - 10:56 am In response to the death of Hunter Diehl at the Pandora Mine in La Sal, the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) found that the accident occurred because mine management policies, procedures, and controls were inadequate. MSHA determined that the underground area where the accident occurred was not examined or tested by an experienced worker prior to work commencing in the affected area, that a post-blast examination addressing potential blast-related hazards was not conducted by a trained, responsible person, and procedures were inadequate to ensure workers would scale loose ground from a safe location. http://www.moabtimes.com/printer_friendly/9817599 America: A Fire Sale to Foreign Corporations The leaked document reveals that the trade agreement would give unprecedented political authority and legal protection to foreign corporations. Specifically, TPP would (1) severely limit regulation of foreign corporations operating within U.S. boundaries, giving them greater rights than domestic firms, (2) extend incentives for U.S. firms to move investments and jobs to lower-wage countries, (3) establish an alternative legal system that gives foreign corporations and investors new rights to circumvent U.S. courts and laws, allowing them to sue the U.S. government before foreign tribunals and demand compensation for lost revenue http://www.commondreams.org/view/2012/06/25-0 Uranium Watch official worries about emissions from San Juan mines As an example, she questioned if it was appropriate for DAQ to allow a vent – one that had been cited in an August 2010 notice of violation from the EPA — within a quarter-mile of the La Sal School. http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/politics/53862759-90/fields-mines-board-uranium.html.csp Uranium mill or dump? Locals hope to stop a Utah mill from finding new work WHITE MESA, UTAH — If you blink on the drive between Blanding and Bluff, you might miss the White Mesa Ute Reservation. From Highway 191, this small community of 300 Ute Mountain Utes is marked by a gas station, a Mormon ward house and a smattering of trailer homes. But if your window is rolled down, you could catch a whiff of the Utes’ neighbor. When it’s running, the International Uranium Corporation’s mill saturates the air with the stench of sulfur. http://www.hcn.org/issues/267/14525 Denison to buy White Canyon (uranium mining in Utah, out of control) http://www.world-nuclear-news.org/C-Denison_to_buy_White_Canyon-2402118.html Utah groups challenge uranium mill's plan to divert groundwater MOAB — Two Utah-based conservation groups have filed a challenge in Colorado Water Court to three applications for groundwater that flows into the Dolores River. The subject of the challenge is an application for three groundwater rights permits needed for development and processing at the proposed Pinion Ridge Uranium Mill in Paradox, Colo. http://www.deseretnews.com/article/700006802/Utah-groups-challenge-uranium-mills-plan-to-divert-groundwater.html?linkTrack=rss-30 http://www.ccatoxicwaste.org/ccatphotos.htm http://virginiaagainsturanium.blogspot.com/search?q=utah Deb Dix

Regulations Not Working in US in Hardrock Mining - Submitted by Deborah - 9/13/2012 2:02:01 PM
Comments/Questions: Regulations and best practice is not working in hard rock mining, oil or anything regulated including nuclear. Between greed, accidents, human and nature, water, air, land is polluted at dangerous levels, following are facts, not scare tactics; therefore, listen up no organization can prevent or protect our water, our air from mining but the most important of all the stories is "The American way of life is based on equal opportunity and there is nothing more basic than having the opportunity to breathe clean air. Clean air means a fair shot at a healthy upbringing", mining against human rights: Mining Regulatons Not Working to Protect Air, Land, Water, ETC US Magnesium loses pollution rule appeal : The 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver sided with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, which had threatened to take over part of Utah’s air-quality program unless the state updated its so-called "unavoidable breakdown rule." Denver court upholds Utah’s “unavoidable breakdown rule.” By JUDY FAHYS | The Salt Lake Tribune First Published Aug 06 2012 12:21 pm • Last Updated Aug 06 2012 11:34 pm A court ruling Monday might finally end a years-long battle over air pollution mishaps at Utah industrial plants.The 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver sided with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, which had threatened to take over part of Utah’s air-quality program unless the state updated its so-called "unavoidable breakdown rule." http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/politics/54641166-90/appeal-appeals-breakdown-court.html.csp Kennecott causes one-third of air pollution :The same must be said about its economic impact. Although RTK pays substantial taxes and wages, its contribution to disease, health care costs and the suppression of "cleaner" economic development all take money out of your wallet, Studies of mining operations in other parts of the country, looking at both sides of the equation, suggest that RTK, overall, is actually an economic liability.The Utah Chapter of the Sierra Club joined Utah Physicians for a Healthy Environment, Utah Moms for Clean Air and WildEarth Guardians as plaintiffs in suing RTK for violating the federal Clean Air Act. http://archive.sltrib.com/article.php?id=19788465&itype=storyID Utah Doctors Take On Giant Mining Operation: The Utah Physicians for Healthy Environment estimate that the mortality, health and environmental costs to the community from RTK pollution is between $2 billion and $4 billion, more than the value of the wages and taxes that they pay.Frederick Douglass, the19th-century civil rights leader, said, "Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have found out the exact measure of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them." Let it be known that the people in Utah will no longer "quietly submit" to more pollution, more deaths, shortened life spans and poorer health to fatten the wallets in the London boardroom of Rio Tinto. We are going to "take back" the air we breathe. http://www.earthworksaction.org/issues/detail/toxics_release_inventory_what_is_it 16. http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/standard-business/article-23934614-rio-tinto-boss-attacks-governments-for-interfering-in-mining.do Air Board Protesters: 'We breathe the pollution you permit' : members believe state environmental officials are too cozy with industry and they won't do more to clean up the air. http://archive.sltrib.com/article.php?id=18409226&itype=storyID Support right to breathe clean air : As the NAACP state conference president for Idaho, Nevada and Utah states, Jeanetta Williams "The American way of life is based on equal opportunity and there is nothing more basic than having the opportunity to breathe clean air. Clean air means a fair shot at a healthy upbringing http://archive.sltrib.com/article.php?id=18687074&itype=storyID In rural Wyoming, residents adjust to air : ."Last year we had some bad spells and my eyes hurt, like I had a sunburn," said Vivian Watts, a waitress at Stockman's Restaurant, a wood- and antler-lined place on Pinedale's main drag. "This time, I've stayed inside." http://archive.sltrib.com/article.php?id=14014042&itype=storyID http://virginiaagainsturanium.blogspot.com/search?q=utah Deb Dix

Uranium Mining Regulations - Submitted by Bob - 9/12/2012 9:35:57 PM
Comments/Questions: Each Uranium Mining Proposal must be evaluated in terms of the Regulations established by pertinent Commonwealth of Virginia Agencies. If all the criteria are met, the proposal should be allowed to proceed. THE COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA LEGISLATURE SHOULD PASS A LAW AUTHORIZING STATE AGENCIES TO ESTABLISH THE APPROPRIATE CRITERIA. We are not "Luddites". There should be NO BAN on Uranium Mining Regulations just because some uneducated people do not trust their Government and the trained specialists who would establish criteria for evaluating each proposal. If Virginia establishes criteria roughly like the criteria of other states, it would take about 3 years to evaluate a Mining Proposal. It only took 5 years to win World War II. No wonder we have 8.1% unemployment!

Energy Independence - Submitted by Jorge - 9/12/2012 5:31:29 PM
Comments/Questions: As a retired employee of the Newport News shipyard, I understand the importance of energy and what it means to our nation. A healthy economy needs energy. Virginians need good high paying jobs. Our answer is not Washington and its wasteful spending and poor energy ideas. Virginia’s answer is uranium. Uranium mining in Southside would provide 700 good paying jobs to Virginians that desperately need them. Please support lifting the moratorium on uranium mining and make Virginia energy independent.

Keep the Ban - Submitted by Nancy - 9/7/2012 10:24:42 PM
Comments/Questions: There is not enough uranium here to risk poluting our water supply.We need to do all we can to protect our water supply.

REGULATE - Submitted by joe - 9/7/2012 12:38:11 PM
Comments/Questions: I think states should regulate. 30 years is a long time for the State to lead

mining safely - Submitted by nat - 9/7/2012 11:11:00 AM
Comments/Questions: i do not understand what the problem is. if all professionals say this can be done safely,why are we not listening to them?

Lifting the Moratorium - Submitted by Kim - 9/6/2012 3:05:02 PM
Comments/Questions: I write to you today to show support for lifting the moratorium on mining uranium in Virginia. I live in Northern Virginia and I support the proposed Coles Hill project in Pittsylvania County anyway because of the trickle-down effects that this increased job creation and tax revenue would have on the rest of the State. I also know that there are plenty of construction companies and other specialized contractors here in my own area in desperate need of work, who would jump at the opportunity to provide products and services to this effort. Thank you for your consideration of this issue and your commitment to bringing jobs and economic opportunity to Virginia!

Lift the moratorium for clean, domestic energy - Submitted by Mike - 9/6/2012 2:16:15 PM
Comments/Questions: I love the outdoors and I believe we must be good stewards of the environment. However, I have reviewed this project and examined projects like it in Canada and my research suggests that this mine can be opened with little impact on the local community or environment. Nuclear power is a very clean form of energy and is emissions free. However, in order to utilize nuclear power one must have the resources to generate the fuel and that is why this project is so important. If we want to move America towards energy independence and clean sources of energy then we must embrace nuclear power and I think Virginia stands to gain a great deal by allowing the mining and milling of uranium. The Virginia General Assembly must do what is right for the United States and the Commonwealth and lift the moratorium.

Mailing List - Submitted by Jane - 9/6/2012 2:15:07 PM
Comments/Questions: Please add me to the mailing list.

Mailing List - Submitted by Patrick - 9/6/2012 2:14:24 PM
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Mailing List - Submitted by Jenae - 9/6/2012 2:13:50 PM
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Mailing List - Submitted by Elisabeth - 9/6/2012 2:13:13 PM
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Mailing List - Submitted by Harry - 9/6/2012 2:12:22 PM
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Mailing List - Submitted by Aaron - 9/6/2012 2:11:37 PM
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Mailing List - Submitted by Deborah - 9/6/2012 2:11:08 PM
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Mailing List - Submitted by Jason - 9/6/2012 2:10:40 PM
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Mailing List - Submitted by Clinton - 9/6/2012 2:10:02 PM
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Mailing List - Submitted by Regina - 9/6/2012 2:08:45 PM
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Lift The Uranium Mining Ban - Submitted by Steve - 9/5/2012 7:32:06 PM
Comments/Questions: I believe the uranium mining ban in Virginia should be lifted. Technology exists to mine the material safely as well as to store the tailings. Meaningful safety and monitoring regulations should be in place. No one is arguing that. But uranium will be used for nuclear power plants which provide the cleanest and safest energy available to us, so actually, it is an environmental plus. If we are to become less reliant on foreign energy, foster economic growth and opportunity, and create jobs, we need to lift the ban.

Useful idiots - Submitted by Nicholas - 9/5/2012 3:13:00 PM
Comments/Questions: Please consider. The opponents of Uranium Mining in VA,( although sincere in their beliefs ),are the useful Idiots of the Anti- Humanitst that throughout Human History promote all things to prevent or limit Human growth and Prosperity. Remember the words of Ronald Regan "There are NO limits to growth". I add....except those imposed by the minds of Evil Men or those motivated by "Good Intentions".

UWG #4 in Virginia Beach - Submitted by David - 9/5/2012 12:38:09 PM
Comments/Questions: In the movie "Secretariat", Penny Tweedy, played by Diane Lane, tells her husband, "I don't know how to earn a reward without taking a risk." That was the mindset of an America that put a man on the moon in less than 10 years and inspired the great innovations of the 19th and 20th centuries. And, to be sure, we made mistakes along the way. I'll get to that later. In the Virginian-Pilot article reporting on the meeting it stated of the dissenters, "Others said neither the company nor government regulators can guarantee no one gets hurt." Well, no kidding. There's risk in everything we do in life. If eliminating all risk is the goal of today's Americans, none of us would ever get into a motor vehicle or teach our children how to ride a bicycle. The dissenter's remarkable grasp of the obvious reminded me of an old maxim: "Show me a man who never made a mistake and I'll show you a man who never did anything." We all know there are no guarantees in life, so which American mindset do you want to pass down to the next generations - risk/reward or do nothing because someone MIGHT get hurt? Personally, I vote for risk/reward, along with thoughtful due diligence. I refuse to sacrifice my, or anyone else's, inalienable rights because I MIGHT be struck by a bolt of lightning during the next thunderstorm. Governor, and State legislators, it is your Constitutional duty to protect those rights. Lift the ban.

uranium - Submitted by jesse - 9/4/2012 9:46:30 AM
Comments/Questions: It is not comforting that Virginia has recieved a failing grade from the State Integrity Investigation from the Center for Public Integrity last week. Most especially telling was the failing grade in "transparency." That explains why the uranium working group is so vague in its mission statement and why the meeings it has held have been confusing and disorganized. The UWG has yet to really answer any questions put forth by the "public." It has become clear that the "working group" is not working for the citizens of the Commonwealth as they claim, but for the Canadian corporation that wants to poison our homes with uranium mining and milling. It is shameful that the governor cannot find the money to hire competent teachers for our schools, but can pay a million dollars to a two year old consulting firm from Colorado to write "regulations" for what we all know will be one huge, toxic experiment. This is wrong. Shame on you.

Canadian document - Submitted by Suzanne - 9/3/2012 7:38:09 PM
Comments/Questions:
Uranium Working Group Response: I do not why the company thinks that legislation will be introduced during the 2013 session or what their plans are. No decision has been made by the Governor or the General Assembly at this time with regard to lifting the ban. The Governor directed creation of the working group to allow state agency subject matter experts to work collaboratively to examine the variety of environmental, human health and worker safety issues raised by the possibility of uranium mining and milling in Virginia, including any risks identified by previous studies. The Group is charged with analyzing whether and how those issues might be addressed by regulation, should the General Assembly decide to lift the moratorium. The work is intended to permit the General Assembly to make a fully informed decision with regard to uranium mining in Virginia. It is not developing regulations that would be adopted if the General Assembly decides to lift the moratorium. If the General Assembly directs the agencies to promulgate appropriate regulations to govern uranium mining, that would be done with a separate process and would follow the Administrative Process Act and its public review and comment requirements. The working group is not charged with developing a recommendation on whether or not to move forward with uranium mining in Virginia. It is an informational body that will look at issues raised by previous studies, as well as other issues that are relevant to the public health, environmental and worker safety, and any impact mining or milling may have on the regional economy. Their work will be provided to the General Assembly and the Governor to inform any future decision about the uranium moratorium.

costs of Waste Containment - Submitted by Anne - 9/2/2012 7:37:18 PM
Comments/Questions: IF you know the costs of storing toxic radioactive wastes for 80000 years why are you waiting to address it at a meeting? Why not post it to your website so that the citizens of VA who are footing the bill for this uranium working group can more easily access the information?
Uranium Working Group Response: Questions regarding the storage of mill tailings will be addressed at the October 17th of the working group.

Meeting in Oct - Submitted by David - 8/31/2012 4:55:04 PM
Comments/Questions: I would suggest that the final meeting scheduled for Danville should be rescheduled for Halifax County. Their are several facilities which could accommodate a large turnout: high school; the Prizery; Middle School; Hospital. Halifax and Mecklenburg County would bear the brunt of any catastrophe per the mining operation. Danville is not in the stream.

uranium mining - Submitted by Emma - 8/31/2012 10:44:50 AM
Comments/Questions: I support keeping the ban on uranium mining in Virginia. There is no way the state or the mining industry can guarantee that a spill/leak/accident will not occur which has the ability to negatively impact our environment and drinking water supply. It is not worth the risk.

Uranium mininig in Va. - Submitted by Robert - 8/29/2012 10:52:48 AM
Comments/Questions: Wrong, wrong, wrong. I oppose uranium mining in Virginia.

Please do not consider this.. - Submitted by Kris - 8/28/2012 7:03:32 PM
Comments/Questions: Any small financial benefit is outweighed astronomically by the probable environmental impact.

When will cost of storage question be answered? - Submitted by Anne - 8/28/2012 6:10:51 PM
Comments/Questions: When the Uranium Working group meets in November (and/or at other meetings) to address tailings storage will you then answer the following question at that meeting? WHAT WILL IT COST TO STORE THE TOXIC RADIOACTIVE WASTE FOR 80,000 YEARS? When can we expect an answer to this question?
Uranium Working Group Response: Questions regarding the storage of mill tailings will be addressed at the October 17th of the working group.

Uranium Mining - Submitted by margaret - 8/28/2012 3:59:18 PM
Comments/Questions: Please support the Ban on Uranium mining in the state of Virginia.

COSTS of Waste Containment - Submitted by Anne - 8/28/2012 2:51:10 PM
Comments/Questions: This is now the third time on this website that I have tried to ask a simple question--WHAT IS THE COST OF CONTAINING THE TOXIC RADIOACTIVE WASTE FOR 80000 YEARS?
Uranium Working Group Response: Questions regarding the storage of mill tailings will be addressed at the October 17th of the working group.

Uranium Mining Ban - Submitted by Dr Edwin and Mrs. - 8/28/2012 9:35:41 AM
Comments/Questions: Please do not lift the ban. You are aware of all of the arguments against mining. We are nearing retirement age and considering moving to Westminister Canterbury. However we have decided to postpone making a decision until a decision is made regarding uranium mining. We feel it poses considerable risk to the water system. Property values in areas with compromised water systems often fall significantly. Should the state proceed with the mining initiative we would feel the need to find an alternative state for retirement. Sincerely Dr and Mrs E. B. Hodge

I support the ban on uranium mining - Submitted by Teresa - 8/28/2012 9:01:22 AM
Comments/Questions: I support the ban on uranium mining in Virginia. Uranium mining will significantly damage our economy, agriculture and tourism. Property values will be diminished because Virginia is ill-equipped to effectively monitor, report on and mitigate the pollution that will result from uranium mining. We, the taxpayers will be left with the financial burden of cleanup.All this for a non-renewable and dangerous source of energy. This is bad business for the state of Virgina.

supply of uranium - Submitted by mary denson - 8/28/2012 8:46:19 AM
Comments/Questions: According to the website of Virginia Uranium, Inc., a Canadian incorporated company, “The Coles Hill deposit contains enough uranium to power all of America’s 104 nuclear reactors for two years.” Yet the waste site will have to be monitored for perpetuity. Virginia Uranium also promotes that it is creating energy independence for Virginia. When the 2 years worth of uranium is depleted and the company shuts down, who will be responsible for monitoring the waste site?
Uranium Working Group Response: Reclamation and long-term monitoring for tailings storage will be addressed at the October meeting of the Uranium Working Group.

In favor of lifting the ban on uranium mining - Submitted by Heather - 8/28/2012 8:14:24 AM
Comments/Questions: I am in favor of lifting the ban on uranium mining. The US needs more nuclear power, I recently had an opportunity to learn more about this industry at tour in Lynchburg. I was very impressed with the level of care and attention to detail in this industry. Nuclear energy is clean and green, no carbon emissions, no emissions at all. This in a key component in reducing some of our reliance on oil. Nuclear is also key to national security as it provides longterm power to our submarines. Many people have expressed concern about storage of tailings. The company has made it clear that their storage method will be underground, not above, thereby eliminating risk to Lake Gaston. Lifting this ban will provide revenue and jobs as well as reducing the ninety percent of uranium that we currently import. Please lift this ban.

Uranianium Ban - Submitted by Kathi - 8/28/2012 7:44:06 AM
Comments/Questions: Please keep the ban on uranium mining in Va.

save environment for my kids - Submitted by Mary - 8/27/2012 11:20:55 PM
Comments/Questions: I firmly believe uranium mining will eventually kill the environment we moved to when we moved to Pittsylvania County. I hoped to leave this house to my children someday but now wonder how? Do we really stand any chance of stopping this disaster since I have the largest uranium deposit about 10-15 miles from my house that's in the United States? How do we stand up to that?

mining of uranium - Submitted by Ann Penn - 8/27/2012 8:41:07 PM
Comments/Questions: I have attended an all day event on this topic, done much reading and attended a recent meeting in Fauquier County. Nothing has convinced me that: 1. It is safe 2. that the benefits to Va. are long lasting 3. It is safe 4. It will be appropriately monitored....we have a rather poor history of water monitoring in this state 5. it is safe! One accident, and they do happen, and our drinking water is ruined. NO URANIUM MINING

extreme weather events - Submitted by Mary - 8/27/2012 8:09:04 PM
Comments/Questions: There was flooding in Pittsylvania County this weekend. During the July meeting in Chatham, Mr. Lasseter talked about the need for an early warning system. Given the flooding of late and the loss of electricity earlier in the summer, what would an early warning system look like and what would it accomplish.
Uranium Working Group Response: Emergency Response Planning will be addressed at the November meeting of the Uranium Working Group.

Uranium mining in Virginia - Submitted by Jim - 8/27/2012 8:06:57 PM
Comments/Questions: I will vote against anyone who claims to represent me yet favors uranium mining in Virginia. Jim Dickerson 60 year resident of Virginia

containment of tailings from uranium mining - Submitted by Penny - 8/27/2012 7:38:56 PM
Comments/Questions: WHAT WILL IT COST TO STORE THE TOXIC RADIOACTIVE WASTE FOR 80,000 YEARS?
Uranium Working Group Response: Tailings storage will be addressed at the November meeting of the Uranium Working Group.

Concerned - Submitted by Elisabeth - 8/27/2012 4:53:14 PM
Comments/Questions: I am deeply concerned that the governor persists to plan for uranium mining in Virginia, especially because there is a ban in effect. Clearly the governor has no respect for the laws he swore to protect. One does not plan to rob a bank without the intention of carrying it out; similarly, the governor clearly means to circumvent the laws and wishes of the citizens of the Commonwealth. There have been several studies indicating the severe risks of uranium mining to Virginia's water. The governor should stop wasting taxpayer funds researching a plan to trample the laws and will of the Commonwealth in this dangerous enterprise and, instead, focus on investing in wind energy and education.
Uranium Working Group Response: After a series of studies that raised many questions without answers, the Governor directed creation of the working group to allow state agency subject matter experts to work collaboratively to examine the variety of environmental, human health and worker safety issues raised by the possibility of uranium mining and milling in Virginia, including any risks identified by the previous studies. The Group is charged with analyzing whether and how those issues might be addressed by regulation, should the General Assembly decide to lift the moratorium. The work is intended to permit the General Assembly to make a fully informed decision with regard to uranium mining in Virginia. It is not developing regulations that would be adopted if the General Assembly decides to lift the moratorium. If the General Assembly directs the agencies to promulgate appropriate regulations to govern uranium mining, that would be done with a separate process and would follow the Administrative Process Act and its public review and comment requirements. The working group is not charged with developing a recommendation on whether or not to move forward with uranium mining in Virginia. It is an informational body that will look at issues raised by previous studies, as well as other issues that are relevant to the public health, environmental and worker safety, and any impact mining or milling may have on the regional economy. Their work will be provided to the General Assembly and the Governor to inform any future decision about the uranium moratorium.

uranium ban - Submitted by aileen - 8/27/2012 3:11:32 PM
Comments/Questions: Please keep the ban on uranium mining in Virginia. The negatives strongly outweigh any positive benefit from this mining. Destruction of our landscape, fouling of our water, and introduction of radioactive waste are just the beginning of the negative results of this potential venture.

Uranium Ban - Submitted by Sarah - 8/27/2012 3:10:01 PM
Comments/Questions: I am firmly opposed to any mining that endangers our water supply. Look only to the disaster in Front Royal 30 years ago to see how easy it is to contaminate your neighborhood.

oppose - Submitted by Mac - 8/27/2012 1:54:26 PM
Comments/Questions: I am writing to oppose the Uranium mining site

Costs of this project - Submitted by Anne - 8/27/2012 1:31:15 PM
Comments/Questions: WHAT IS THE PROJECTED COST OF STORING THE TOXIC RADIOACTIVE WASTE FOR 80,000 YEARS? This is the second time I have sent this question in. Will you please have the courtesy to at least post it? This question deserves an answer. I'd hate to see my state officials setting up something that will only profit a few and cost the rest of us a fortune!
Uranium Working Group Response: Questions regarding the storage of mill tailings will be addressed at the October 17th of the working group.

Uranium Mining - Do Not Lift the Ban - Submitted by Barbara - 8/27/2012 12:51:21 PM
Comments/Questions: Good day, my name is Barbara Suruga And I live in the Great Neck area of Virginia Beach. I am highly opposed to uranium mining in Virginia for various reasons, not the least being that it threatens our drinking water which in turn threatens the very survival of Virginia Beach and Norfolk (nothing can live with out water). The National Academy of Sciences shared the results of its uranium study and finished up a series of public meetings. They openly stated there are 'steep hurdles' to mining safely, and mining and processing carries with it a wide-range of adverse human health risks. I urge you to consider the welfare of the humans who live in southeast Virginia and oppose uranium mining. Thank you for your support & concern regarding this very dangerous issue. Very truly yours, Barbara Suruga

Uranium Ban - Submitted by Ellen - 8/27/2012 10:18:34 AM
Comments/Questions: I participated in the 8-hour meeting in Warrenton and left with the feeling that almost no-one felt positive about lifting the ban. The questions and concerns went on non-stop. Canada will make a profit & China will get most of the product & VA will get the mess, the risk, the 1000-yr clean up, & see the ruination of a community. Politicians will vote the way of the most re-election $ in their coffers.

Keep the Ban - Submitted by Audrey - 8/27/2012 8:21:34 AM
Comments/Questions: I am opposed to the proposed uranium mining. A foreign corporation and one family will benefit and it will produce very few jobs. Uranium mining can take a serious toll on the health of the miners and their families - please seriously review the effects of mining in the Four Corners region of Colorado. The danger to the watershed is simply too great - the ends do not justify the means.

Uranium Mining - Submitted by Alfonso - 8/27/2012 7:26:51 AM
Comments/Questions: As is usually the case with something like this. Who will benefit from allowing uranium mining? Answer: The uranium processors. Who will be hurt from allowing uranium mining? Answer:Everybody else. Who is the Uranium Working Group working for? If it's the citizens of Virginia, then keep the ban. Potential jobs do not trump the health & safety of the citizens of Virginia.

uranium i - Submitted by Michael - 8/26/2012 11:31:04 PM
Comments/Questions: I would like to voice my opposition to uranium mining in this state. I feel the risks to the environment and population of surrounding areas far outweigh the benefits to those other than the owners and investors.

Oppose the Uranium Mining - Submitted by Armistead - 8/26/2012 6:31:33 PM
Comments/Questions: i oppose the uranium mining in Virginia.

Input to the UWG - Submitted by Thomas - 8/26/2012 5:01:02 PM
Comments/Questions: The purpose of this correspondence is to provide input to the Virginia Uranium Working Group for its consideration in developing its report on the regulatory efficacy and requirements of potentially resuming uranium mining in the Commonwealth. I am opposed to the resumption of such mining primarily because I think it will pose dangerous and widespread threats are to surface and ground water that are not contained to the mine locale, but could affect an entire watershed. My own experience with radiological contamination is not extensive, but it has been sufficient to make me appreciate that this contamination is for all practical purposes permanent once released into the environment. Cleanup in the open environment can achieve lowered levels, but rarely eliminates radiological contamination entirely, so once the damage is done, there is no practical return to unlimited pre-contamination use. We’ve caused some horrendous chemical damage to the environment over the years, and have made some incremental progress in remediating that damage, but we are still at baby steps for radiation contamination released into the environment. While zero risk is an impractical standard should uranium mining resume, I would expect the Commonwealth to erect rigid safety standards of operation, and to rigorously enforce those with the authority to levy significant fines and in egregious situations, to shut down operations quickly and decisively. I am also concerned with the current absence of the state’s regulatory preparedness for safe uranium mining. It will take time to develop a comprehensive structure and legislative framework to provide such preparedness. I have read commentary that such expertise exists in some parts of state government due to interaction with the NRC over the years, but I am not convinced that constitutes the systematic and interactive structure of regulation and legislation necessary to make mining resumption possible. Starting uranium mining operations before all this expert structure is in place would be unwise. I also believe that the putative economic benefits of this venture proposal should be carefully scrutinized. Proponents talk only about the value of sales of processed ore (and those are admittedly substantial), and I acknowledge the severe economic difficulties of the southern counties around the Coles Hill site that really need a lift in employment and commercial activity, but I would hope the working group will closely examine such issues as: (1) What is the reality of future markets for uranium? Is the U.S. really going to build many more reactors or extend the older inventory, and can Virginia ore compete with foreign imports? While this is primarily a problem for the extracting corporation, the state needs to consider this factor in order to compare the real cost-benefit outcome for the Commonwealth. (2) What is the revenue ratio to the state’s financial costs of developing and operating the oversight governmental agencies? I believe the RTI study speaks of $11 million in new revenue. Surely, the agencies and regulatory development required will cost more that that. Who will pay for state oversight and response? Will it be from Virginia’s general revenue funds, or should the permitted mining corporations pay for this government regulatory support? What is the full lifecycle cost of this venture and how will it be apportioned? My final point is one I have not found much discussed in the public debate and comment to date. That is the question of financial responsibility for operational and future damage to the environment and the natural resources local citizens depend upon. For example, who will make the local citizens and counties whole for loss of groundwater use or other environmental damage connected to the mining operations? What financial safeguards will be put in place to deal with operational failures while the mining operation is in progress? I have seen only one comment for the record along these lines, and that was posted by a perceptive livestock producer who raises the right kind of questions. I understand this general topic is among those the working group plans for the November 2012 public meeting, but I would respectfully call your attention to a very careful reading of Chapter 7 (Regulation and oversight of uranium mining, processing, reclamation, and long term stewardship) and Chapter 8 (Best practices) of the NAS study regarding the Coles Hill site. I found that the NAS study is particularly insightful on this aspect, and emphasizes not only the initial costs, but the obligations of closure and post closure monitoring and response. What happens if there is a failure of containment decades from now? A dissolved or defunct corporate entity will not be around to accept financial responsibility. We are learning some tough lessons about “creative” financial responsibility vehicles from the 2008-9 recession, and the working group needs to consider what kinds of financial instruments will provide protection to both the state and citizens (e.g. bonds, deposits, insurance, etc.), and what is an effective period of responsibility after closure (e.g. 30 years, more?). Neither have I have found much discussion of responsibility for mining wastes in the record, and while I realize that this has much to do with where the ore is processed, I hope the Commonwealth carefully addresses responsibility for management of the tailings and other wastes from the mining process, to include extended corrective action and financial responsibility. Thank you for your attention to these concerns, and your detailed and comprehensive study of the problems, issues, and potential benefits involved in the question of whether or not to allow resumption of uranium mining in the Commonwealth. I look forward to reading your final report. Thomas J. Kennedy Jr. 3623 Colony Road Fairfax, VA 22030 August 26, 2012
Uranium Working Group Response: We will be covering each of the topics you raised. As noted, the financial responsibilty issues will be addressed at our November meeting. Groundwater will be addressed at the August meeting and the management of tailings and mine waste will be addressed at the October meeting. Thanks very much for your input.

email addresses - Submitted by Deborah - 8/26/2012 1:06:59 PM
Comments/Questions: I think it is a mistake on the UWG comment page not to allow someone to submit a comment without an email address. How hard would it be to add a telephone or address line? As I have stated so many times in the past, many people do not have internet nor an email address but uranium mining and milling near their homes is still important to them! I suggest you redo your "Contact Us" page to make it more accessable to the average person in Pitts. County or elsewhere in Virginia. You could require a street address or a telephone number if you want to make sure it is a legitimate comment. You ask for participation yet you make it very difficult for the majority. I understand you can send them in writing to the address below but a telephone number with an answering machine should also be added. I hope to see these changes soon! No uranium mining in Virginia! If a website can't be updated frequently and made available to everyone, what business do we have trying to do something that has never happened safely anywhere in the world that I can find.
Uranium Working Group Response: We do not ask for addresses and telephone numbers in order to protect the privacy of those who choose to comment. We have received over 800 comments in the mail and encourage those who do not have access to a computer to send us comments at the address listed.

NO URANIUM MINING IN VIRGINIA. - Submitted by Ruby - 8/26/2012 12:43:51 PM
Comments/Questions: NO URANIUM MINING IN VIRGINIA.

Flooding - Submitted by Deborah - 8/26/2012 12:37:59 PM
Comments/Questions: Another reason to Keep the Ban on Uranium mining and milling in Virginia! Flooding, and sink holes can not be controlled. Mixed with tailings and mining would be devastating to those in the area and downstream. This storm was unexpected yet dumped 11 1/2 inches of rain in 4 hours. Read this article that just happened yesterday not too far from the proposed Coles Hill Site. http://www.wral.com/weather/story/11467517/

Uranium mining IS NOT AN OPTION! - Submitted by Judy - 8/25/2012 10:36:20 PM
Comments/Questions: Please oppose Uranium Mining which could pollute Lake Gaston and make it unsuitable for consumption by humans and also impact wild life. Surely we already have enough pollutants in the soil, air and existing resources, we need not add another source to the ever growing list. Thank you.

Uranium Mining - Submitted by Joyce - 8/25/2012 4:36:44 PM
Comments/Questions: Exactly what are you all supposed to be doing ? How much information will you all gather before you realize that the majority of the people in Va. do not want uranium mining? There are too many unanswerwed questions that are not even being considered. Not only is that wrong, it is a sin.God will deal with the greedy people that are trying to manipulate those of us who will be adversely affected by uranium mining and milling.Steve and Joyce White are adamantly oppposed to uranium mining and milling in Va.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Thank You

uranium - Submitted by Jane - 8/25/2012 2:19:00 PM
Comments/Questions: We do not want URANIUM MINING in Halifax. You breath the fumes and it gets in everything and it causes cancer. We already have enough chemical in the air causing cancer. WE DO NOT NEED THIS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

NO!!!! - Submitted by Erin - 8/25/2012 2:10:03 PM
Comments/Questions: I live VERY close to the cole's Hill site where we raise our own fruit, meat, firewood, vegetables and eggs on our 400+ acre family farm. We would greatly appreciate NOT mining and/or storing of ANY radioactive materials EVER in this area. My great grand parents prided themselves on raising food and family in the most responsible, smart and healthy way possible. Uranium has never and will never be mined or stored safely. The climate here is everchanging. Anyone who allows this to be done obviously cares nothing about what lives or is raised here. PLEASE help us fight this!!!

Keep the Ban - Submitted by Joe - 8/25/2012 12:19:11 PM
Comments/Questions: I hereby state in the strongest terms my opposition to lifting the uranium mining ban in Virginia. One of the principal reasons is the threat of contamination of Lake Gaston from the still radioactive uranium waste tailings, which retain 85% of the original radioactivity, during a major precipitation event, such as a hurricane. Lake Gaston is the primary drinking water source for about 1 million people - in Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Chesapeake, and neighboring communities in Virginia and North Carolina. Lake Gaston is located within the watershed, downstream from where uranium mining and milling is being proposed. Over 25 governmental groups--cities, counties, towns and regional councils of government in VA and NC--have passed resolutions in favor of keeping the ban. These include the cities of Norfolk, where I reside, and Virginia Beach, among others. Also, a wide range of civil rights and environmental organizations including the VA State Conference of the NAACP, the Sierra Club, American Rivers and the National Wildlife Federation, among many others. Uranium levels in drinking water present a direct threat to public health: damage to kidney function that may increase kidney disease. Also, peer-reviewed research and government reports confirm that persons living near uranium mines or mills may be exposed to higher levels of uranium in drinking water and in locally grown foods due to contaminated soil, water and air. Higher incidence rates of childhood leukemia, respiratory disease and kidney disease have been recorded in areas close to uranium mine sites. Other studies show that uranium toxicity may affect bone growth and development and adversely affect human reproduction and development. The Baker Report for the City of VA Beach concluded that a catastrophic failure of a mill tailings containment cell at the proposed Coles Hill site would significantly affect water supplies for the Hampton Roads area. Released or leaked tailings would move through the river system to the reservoirs downstream, including Lake Gaston, and may lead to radioactive concentrations in the river/reservoir system at 10 to 20 times greater than the allowable limits under the Safe Water Drinking Act. Furthermore and highly significant the National Academy of Sciences' study supports the position of those like me who want to keep the ban in place: 1. The potential for adverse health effects increases if there are uncontrolled releases as a result of extreme events (e.g., floods, fire, earthquakes) or human error. The potential for adverse health effects related to releases of radionuclides is directly related to the population density near the mine or processing facility. 2. Internal exposure to radioactive materials during uranium mining and processing can take place through inhalation, ingestion, or through a cut in the skin. External radiation exposure (e.g.,exposure to beta, gamma, and to a lesser extent alpha radiation) can also present a health risk. 3. Because thorium–230 and radium-226 are present in mine tailings, these radionuclides and their decay products can—if not controlled adequately—contaminate the local environment under certain conditions, in particular by seeping into water sources and thereby increasing radionuclide concentrations. This, in turn, can lead to a risk of cancer from drinking water (e.g., cancer of the bone) that is higher than the risk of cancer that would have existed had there been no radionuclide release from tailings. 4. The decay products of uranium (e.g., 230Th, 226Ra) provide a constant source of radiation in uranium tailings for thousands of years, substantially outlasting the current U.S. regulations for oversight of processing facility tailings. 5. Uranium mining, processing, and reclamation in Virginia have the potential to impact surface water quality and quantity, groundwater quality and quantity. These activities in Virginia will depend on ite-specific conditions, the rigor of the monitoring program established to provide early warning of contaminant migration, and the efforts to mitigate and control potential impacts. 6. Tailings disposal sites represent potential sources of contamination for thousands of years, and the long-term risks remain poorly defined. Although significant improvements have been made in recent years to tailings management engineering and designs to isolate mine waste from the environment, limited data exist to confirm the long-term effectiveness of uranium tailings management facilities that have been designed and constructed according to modern best practices. 7. Significant potential environmental risks are associated with extreme natural events and failures in management practices. Extreme natural events (e.g., hurricanes, earthquakes, intense rainfall events, drought) have the potential to lead to the release of contaminants if facilities are not designed and constructed to withstand such an event, or fail to perform as designed. 8. Models and comprehensive site characterization are important for estimating the environmental effects of a specific uranium mine and processing facility. A thorough site characterization, supplemented by air quality and hydrological modeling, is essential for estimating the potential environmental impacts of uranium mining and processing under site-specific conditions and mitigation practices. In summary, the risks, especially to the public health, related to lifting the ban far outweigh the benefits. Virginia historically and up to the present time has a lax and weak regulatory structure that caters to and promotes the profits of private businesses over protections for people from the harm that may come from policies and practices by business and industry. Therefore, I urge members of the General Assembly to keep the ban on uranium mining in place in Virginia.

Uranium Mining - Submitted by Boram - 8/25/2012 12:08:00 PM
Comments/Questions: I am in opposition to uranium mining which in turn will affect our drinking water

uranium mining - Submitted by mary - 8/25/2012 12:03:50 PM
Comments/Questions: As a family physician, resident of Virginia Beach, and as Public Policy Chair of our watershed restoration group, Lynnhaven River NOW, I AM AGGAINST LIFTING THE BAN on uranium mining in Va. The assets at risk downstream are enoumous and , therefore NO RISK IS ACCEPTABLE. Neither the State nor the NRC has any experience with mining in a wet climate, and WE HAVE EARTHQUAKES. There are no current contaiment structures that can be assured to protect us for 1000 years. Or maybe 200. So I have to ask...THE REAL QUESTION IS "WHY ARE WE EVEN TALKING ABOUT THIS." KEEP THE BAN.

UWG - Submitted by Severn - 8/25/2012 11:53:59 AM
Comments/Questions: The proposed mine presents an unacceptable risk due to its proximity to Lake Gaston. A major weather event or an earth quake like the one a few months ago (and totally unexpected) could rupture a containment pond and send toxic waste water rushing into Lake Gaston. What might even be worse would be an undetected leak when there would be no warning as to the danger of drinking tap water. Clearly an unacceptable risk. Severn F. Kellam

Uranium mining - Submitted by ToniWynncomWT - 8/25/2012 11:50:46 AM
Comments/Questions: I am unable to attend the uranium meetings in my area. As Americans, I and my family are in a fortunate position that millions of global citizens do not share: Our drinking water is clean. Please do not put Virginians' health at risk by lifting the ban.

proposed mining - Submitted by Jessica - 8/25/2012 11:30:58 AM
Comments/Questions: I oppose any and all mines being built in Virginia. City of Virginia Beach studies indicate that the area proposed for uranium mining is vulnerable to extreme rainfall events which could cause failure of uranium waste containment structures and result in the contamination of the downstream drinking water, i.e. Lake Gaston. The City's latest report finds that in the event of significant contamination, "the City of Virginia Beach may have to cease pumping water from Lake Gaston for up to 1.5 years." While independent researchers continue to determine the full effects, studies have linked exposure to radioactive uranium waste to negative impacts on human health1. Exposure to uranium has been linked to cancer and respiratory diseases and can exert toxic effects on kidney function, bone development, and the formation of blood cells2. The radioactive chemical element radium is found in uranium waste. Radium decays into the radioactive gas radon, which is difficult to contain. If ingested, it may increase the risk for bone, liver, lung and breast cancer1. African Americans may be more vulnerable to the biological effects of uranium. African American women in particular have shown an increased risk for breast cancer due to elevated uranium concentration in groundwater3. Babies from mothers who had prolonged exposure to uranium tailings waste in Church Rock, New Mexico, suffered a significant increase in birth defects4. The first proposed mine and mill site alone would generate at least 28 million tons of uranium waste – enough to fill 145 Super Wal-Marts. Uranium waste remains radioactive for thousands of years and needs to be contained on-site indefinitely. A failure of the waste storage facility could result in the contamination of local groundwater sources and downstream drinking water sources for over 1.9 million people in Halifax, Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Chesapeake and North Carolina 1. I thank you for considering public health and safety before profit in this matter. Sincerely, Jessica Patterson

Uranium mining ban - Submitted by Edmond - 8/25/2012 10:50:27 AM
Comments/Questions: I am requesting that you, the Governor's Work Study Group,to research this issue carefully and fully. Please consider what will be best of the long term wellbeing of the citizens of chatham and the surrounding area. Living in Norfolk I am very concerned about the possible harmful consequences that would result if the ban is lifted. I and my wife, Maureen N. Marroni, strongly oppose the removal of the ban. Thank you for considering my position.

HELL NO! - Submitted by carl - 8/25/2012 7:40:43 AM
Comments/Questions: Hell no to any Uranium Mining in ANY shape fashion or form...get out!

uranium in chatham virginia - Submitted by carol - 8/25/2012 12:51:53 AM
Comments/Questions: A few people will get rich, the county will get a few low paying jobs. The geologists and engineers will not make this their home. It will be a step in their careers. This area(Halifax and Pittsylvania Counties)is already blighted by the prospect of uranium mining. Who will send their children to Hargrave, Chatham Hall and Carlbrook? How many jobs will we lose when they close? Once our water is contaminated the mining company will just say, oops, we did not mean to do that but it will be too late. The state report told everyone in Chatham that radium fallout will be monitored in a 50 mile radius. Have they told the residents in Danville? Some Danville residents may think that what goes on in Chatham is of no concern to them. Mines have been in areas of granite. I am not a geologist, but as a lay person I observe that the granite in this region is soft and crumbly. I am a little reassured that the recent earthquakes in this area have been assessed as being an event once in 2,000 years. Exploration and sampling is already taking place in Chatham before regulations have been developed, and safeguards in place. I think we should have a moratorium to stop the exploration. Finally I would like to comment on the leases held in Fairfax County. If the moratorium is lifted how do you propose to stop mining in the large metropolitan areas? I think there will be a bill passed that states in the small print, that will require the government to pay the mining companies NOT to mine. So far all the attention has been in this economically depressed area desperate for jobs.

Lifting the Uranium Moratorium - Submitted by Morgan - 8/25/2012 12:22:48 AM
Comments/Questions: I am a resident of Northern Virginia and I see the tremendous benefit of lifting the Uranium mining moratorium. It is evident that this uranium can be mined safely with little impact on the environment, while at the same time generating hundreds of jobs and billions in economic development. Numerous other countries including Canada have perfected the mining or uranium in a way that does not impact the environment. Moreover, the climate in Canada, which is "wet" mirrors the climate of Virginia and yet that mining has been done safely and efficiently. I strongly encourage the Virginia General Assembly and the Governor to lift the moratorium.

Recommendations - Submitted by Peyton - 8/24/2012 9:22:15 PM
Comments/Questions: Who is going to recommend whether the State will remove the ban on uranium mining? You (the UWG) are developing a framework for regulation without answering the basic question, whether Virginia should lift the ban. I am absolutely against the removal of the moratorium on uranium mining. I have yet to see any credible information that the mining can be done safely, the public protected from the radioactive waste tailings, and the State's waterways protected. Since, among other things, the linings currently in use for underground storage are only expected to last 200 years when the threat will last many thousand years, the risks to the health of the citizens of Virginia are too great so that a few may profit. You should recommend to the Governor and to the General Assembly that the ban not be lifted. Any regulation should require that the VUI and its members, to be liable as the Lloyds of London "Members" are, who have unlimited liabilities into pertuity. They pledge their assets as well as those of their descendants until there is no more risk (about 80,000 years in this case). and not just post a bond for "restoring the area." This is only fair since the State and Nation will have to live with the results of their profit taking.
Uranium Working Group Response: The General Assembly makes the decision whether the ban should be lifted. The Governor directed creation of the working group to allow state agency subject matter experts to work collaboratively to examine the variety of environmental, human health and worker safety issues raised by the possibility of uranium mining and milling in Virginia, including any risks identified by previous studies. The Group is charged with analyzing whether and how those issues might be addressed by regulation, should the General Assembly decide to lift the moratorium. The work is intended to permit the General Assembly to make a fully informed decision with regard to uranium mining in Virginia. It is not developing regulations that would be adopted if the General Assembly decides to lift the moratorium. If the General Assembly directs the agencies to promulgate appropriate regulations to govern uranium mining, that would be done with a separate process and would follow the Administrative Process Act and its public review and comment requirements. The working group is not charged with developing a recommendation on whether or not to move forward with uranium mining in Virginia. It is an informational body that will look at issues raised by previous studies, as well as other issues that are relevant to the public health, environmental and worker safety, and any impact mining or milling may have on the regional economy. Our work will be provided to the General Assembly and the Governor to inform any future decision about the uranium moratorium.

Dirth of Information - Submitted by Peyton - 8/24/2012 8:54:21 PM
Comments/Questions: If I cannot attend a meeting that is many miles away from my home that covers a topic I am interested in, how will I be able to get that information? This web site has few answers to the questions posed.
Uranium Working Group Response: The meetings are live streamed on the web so you can watch them at home on your computer. The meeting on the 28th wil be live streamed at https://www.dmme.virginia.gov/livestream.shtml. They are also videotaped and we will be posted the videos to the website as soon as possible.

Uranium Mining Ban - Submitted by Gayle - 8/24/2012 7:48:42 PM
Comments/Questions: Let us hope that clearer minds prevail and realize that other energy options are available to us, and that ANY risk of contamination to our water, air, or land is too great a risk. Since greed is the driving force behind lifting the ban, those who stand to make billions are willing to take a risk that they would impose on the rest of us. Nothing is worth risking the health and well-being of the people of Virginia. We should put more effort into solar alternatives, which are improving exponentially every few months.

uranium - Submitted by tim - 8/24/2012 7:31:03 PM
Comments/Questions: we do not want mining done here...take it somewhere else, maryland maybe...but not here...

Energy Independence - Submitted by Jay - 8/24/2012 5:04:39 PM
Comments/Questions: I am a veteran of the United States of American. I am also a taxpayer. As a veteran, I knew my fellow Airman were properly trained and my equipment was battle tested so that I was ready for any task or mission asked of me. As a taxpayer you can imagine, there is nothing more frustrating to watch than my elected officials and hard earned money go to Washington on failed pet projects like Solyndra that did nothing to meet our energy needs. The United States military has relied on nuclear energy for decades. It is time for the rest of our government to become more educated on its safety and practical use. Uranium mining in Virginia could provide enough energy to power Virginia for 75 years and requires no government investment. Lift the moratorium on uranium mining and do something to meet our energy needs, not waste our tax dollars. Regards, Jay F. Brown

Uranium- Ur-Crazy - Submitted by Hugh - 8/24/2012 3:22:29 PM
Comments/Questions: Please do not allow uranium mining in the Great Commonwealth of Virginia. thanks, Hugh

u- mining - Submitted by Timothy - 8/24/2012 2:03:44 PM
Comments/Questions: To whom might read this comment,my water and air are important to me in this matter living one mile from this proposed site.I can not believe this group exist, we were told last year we are waiting for the studies,so when they came to light, it was not they wanted to here. This group was formed because there were not enough votes in the General Assembly and thats a fact, to even think about lifting the ban. I'm begining to think greed has taken over, and our Governor has the taste for yellow cake.With all the studies out, how many more studies are needed that this will devistate this great state. I understand investors have been fooled by this ponzi scheme.We as taxpayers are tired of this issue, and to have a mining company to do more studies is outragious,and at taxpayers expence, let alone the burden by people on superfund sites across this country. Monitoring will not give me a warm and fuzzy feeling it will let me know the damage is done, and not a thing can be done about it.I dont expect this to go any further than your computer screen but i do know there are other letters like this.But dont try to pacify us and say it will be wonderfull when we know it can't be done safely, and honestley do you think it can be done safely? Thank God its a state wide issue because if it happens here they will be going north where it is more enriched so we all can enjoy the devistation. If you need infomation on this issue, e- mail me i have been on this scam for five years. Sincerley, Va, Taxpayer
Uranium Working Group Response: The Governor directed creation of the working group to allow state agency subject matter experts to work collaboratively to examine the variety of environmental, human health and worker safety issues raised by the possibility of uranium mining and milling in Virginia, including any risks identified by previous studies. The Group is charged with analyzing whether and how those issues might be addressed by regulation, should the General Assembly decide to lift the moratorium. The work is intended to permit the General Assembly to make a fully informed decision with regard to uranium mining in Virginia. It is not developing regulations that would be adopted if the General Assembly decides to lift the moratorium. If the General Assembly directs the agencies to promulgate appropriate regulations to govern uranium mining, that would be done with a separate process and would follow the Administrative Process Act and its public review and comment requirements. The working group is not charged with developing a recommendation on whether or not to move forward with uranium mining in Virginia. It is an informational body that will look at issues raised by previous studies, as well as other issues that are relevant to the public health, environmental and worker safety, and any impact mining or milling may have on the regional economy. Our work will be provided to the General Assembly and the Governor to inform any future decision about the uranium moratorium. If you have information that would like for us to review, please send it to us so we may do so.

Uranium mining - Submitted by Vickie - 8/24/2012 1:34:47 PM
Comments/Questions: What possible logical reason would we want to mine something that , wastes a limited water supply as well as having the potential to contaminate it, create more toxic and radioactive waste, and continue to be chained to non, renewable energy? There are hundreds of renewable energy sources available to us now. China, Brazil, Germany etc are countries leaving Us in the dust when it comes to renewable energy. Who do you think will pay the price for less demand when these countries no longer need fossils fuels. Us that is right, in higher priced energy. Why can't u look at the long term instead of the buck it will create for u this minute . When you weigh the pros and cons, this is a loosing project

Uranium mining a losing proposition for Virginia - Submitted by James and Elizabeth - 8/24/2012 1:16:24 PM
Comments/Questions: The short term economic benefits of uranium mining do not justify the long term impact on the communities they are located in or downstream from. The potential of uranium mining is already turning highly sought after professionals off from relocating to areas they are desperately needed in. How many businesses are doing the same? As a physician living in Halifax, one county downstream from Coles Hill, I will relocate my family out of Virginia if the uranium mining ban is lifted. How many companies will do the same? Uranium mining will have a negative impact on a already struggling economy in south central Virginia, especially when the ore is gone. If uranium mining is allowed throughout the state, what happens to the Chesapeake Bay, a major source of industry and employment in Virginia, when rivers that flow into it are polluted with uranium tailings? Haven't we worked for decades to clean the bay? The risk to the water supply of over two million people from just the Coles Hill site is too great. One error or failure and the entire Roanoke River Basin is polluted. This also opens up Virginia to legal action and liability from our neighbor to the south, North Carolina, who has successfully sued in the past for environmental damage in their state. KEEP THE BAN!!

uranium mining in virginia - Submitted by Camden - 8/24/2012 12:10:53 PM
Comments/Questions: good science indicates a high risk to the environment of mining uranium in virginia. leave it in the ground. every time we have taken the risk and gone into the ground or sea after resources, we have harmed our environment. this is a much higher risk than coal. leave it in the ground. we cannot undo the damage when it is done. there is a general sense that this is a done deal. governor mcdonnell has let us down on women's rights, on education on highways. the fix is in here as well to rape the environment. i have no faith in my state government to protect our environment.

Mining Support - Submitted by Brandy - 8/24/2012 11:59:57 AM
Comments/Questions: Virginians need good high paying jobs. Washington isn’t giving us any help, so we look to members of our state government to be part of the solution, not the problem. Uranium mining in Southside would provide 700 good paying jobs to Virginians that desperately need them. Please support lifting the moratorium on uranium mining and stand up for Virginia’s free market. Regards, Brandy Dyke

I'd like to be included on the mailing list - Submitted by James - 8/24/2012 11:35:03 AM
Comments/Questions: I'd like to be included on the mailing list

uranium mining - Submitted by Jeanne - 8/24/2012 11:32:55 AM
Comments/Questions: Please record my opposition to uranium mining in Virginia. Thanks you.

Uranium mining - Submitted by Lynn - 8/24/2012 10:44:14 AM
Comments/Questions: I am very concerned with the mining of uranium in Halifax County and southside, generally. The state should not allow this mining. The chance of environmental pollution/catastrophe is too great.

I support lifting the ban on uranium mining - Submitted by Joseph - 8/24/2012 10:27:58 AM
Comments/Questions: A healthy economy needs energy. Virginians need good high paying jobs. Our answer is not Washington and its wasteful spending and poor energy ideas. Virginia’s answer is uranium. Uranium mining in Southside would provide 700 good paying jobs to Virginians that desperately need them. In addition, allowing the mining of uranium in Virginia would recognize the importance of the right of property that Virginia has always protected so dearly. Thomas Jefferson, a former Governor of Virginia and President of the United States, wrote that "A right to property is founded in our natural wants, in the means with which we are endowed to satisfy these wants, and the right to what we acquire by those means without violating the similar rights of other sensible beings." The individuals and companies that want to mine uranium on their own property are violating no one's rights. In fact, continuing to prohibit them from mining uranium on their own land is a violation of their rights. Support for property rights requires lifting the moratorium on uranium mining. In the process, lifting the ban will also help make Virginia energy independent.

Opposition - Submitted by Tom - 8/24/2012 10:20:17 AM
Comments/Questions: I am opposed to the proposed uranium mining. There is no pressing need for the uranium to be added to the world market. Although one family will benefit it will produce very few jobs. Uranium mining can take a fierce toll on the health of the miners and their families as evidenced by mining in the Four Corners region of Colorado. The danger to the watershed is simply too great to accept the promises.

Opposition - Submitted by Brett - 8/24/2012 9:46:35 AM
Comments/Questions: I oppose uranium mining. When there is a radioactive flooding problem (and someday there will be ) the immediate impact is on the Staunton River in Halifax County . Ultimately this water ends up being part of the Norfolk area water supply.

Oppose Uranium minig - Submitted by Holt - 8/24/2012 8:57:47 AM
Comments/Questions: Having read the report last night I am opposed to the mining. The risk is too great. Also the public image of Southside Virginia will be severely damaged. This will impact recruiting new businesses and recreational uses. It will be a very hard sell to bring in factories and schools to a "Uranium" region.

Uranium - Submitted by Carol - 8/24/2012 7:56:11 AM
Comments/Questions: I am totally opposed to lifting the ban on uranium at this time. I have been following the discussions closely, have attended many meetings and am convinced that the mining technology is not advanced enough at this time to protect the citizens and the land and most precious water supply of Virginia. Greed seems to be the prime motivation and the Virginia citizens will suffer. Whether it is due to extreme weather or human error, there is far too much at risk. The paltry few jobs are not worth this risk.

uranium mining in VA - Submitted by Sally - 8/24/2012 7:53:39 AM
Comments/Questions: As a matter of National Security, the ban on uranium mining should be KEPT! It is a matter of WHEN a natural catastrophe will hit Coles Hill and the surrounding areas thus affecting not only the immediate surroundings but also the water source for the Tidewater Area and all the Military Bases. Even the Navy is getting away from nuclear power so why should be jeopardize our state for the benefilt of so few who will mine and run?

opposition to lifting ban - Submitted by Fayetta - 8/24/2012 6:36:27 AM
Comments/Questions: I strongly oppose lifting the ban because of safety concerns. The potential for devastating, long-term toxic impacts on the water, air and ground cannot be ignored.

Uranium Moratorium - Submitted by Mark - 8/23/2012 11:37:24 PM
Comments/Questions: I am absolutely 100% against the removal of the moratorium on uranium mining. I have yet to see any credible information that the mining can be done safely, the public protected from the radioactive waste tailings, and the State's waterways protected. The risks to the citizens of Virginia's health are too important so that a few may profit. I do hope you will recommend to the Governor and to the General Assembly not to lift the ban on mining uranium.

Please add me to the mailing list - Submitted by Deborah - 8/23/2012 4:10:26 PM
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Uranium mining - Submitted by Karen - 8/22/2012 9:09:20 PM
Comments/Questions: I would like to receive emails with regard to any meeting on uranium mining in Virginia. Thank you

1985 draft legislation - Submitted by Katie - 8/22/2012 3:02:49 PM
Comments/Questions: August 22, 2012 request from Katie Whitehead: Please post 1985 House Bill No. 1129, which includes the "Virginia Uranium Mining and Milling Regulatory Act of 1985." This historical document is useful as a real life example of legislation intended to remove the uranium mining moratorium. The Virginia Division of Legislative Services drafted HB1129, incorporating recommendations made in the 1984 Report of the Uranium Task Force. The Coal and Energy Commission forwarded the draft bill without an endorsement to the 1985 General Assembly, where it was assigned to the House Mining Committee. The Mining Committee passed it on to the full House of Delegates with a vote of eleven in favor, five against, and one abstention. The House voted to send the bill back to the committee, which took no further action.
Uranium Working Group Response: The studies and links page of the website has just undergone a reorganization. Now that it is complete, the 1985 draft statute will be contained in the section that provides links to documents generated or reviewed by the 1984 Task Force.

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Forget Fission -- Plasmon Polariton Safe Clean E - Submitted by Patrick - 8/20/2012 8:45:00 PM
Comments/Questions: On Mon, 8/20/12, Horn, Susan (VDH) <Susan.Horn@vdh.virginia.gov> wrote: From: Horn, Susan (VDH) <Susan.Horn@vdh.virginia.gov> Subject: Thank You from VDH To: Date: Monday, August 20, 2012, 2:14 PM The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) would like to thank you for your attendance at the Uranium Mining and Milling Private Well Water Supply and Recreational Water Use Meeting that was conducted in Warrenton, Virginia on August 15th. Participation by citizens like you is critical to our identification and examination of those issues surrounding this important topic. At the meeting on the 15th you provided your name and contact information on an Attendee Sign-In Sheet. VDH would like to ensure that your intent in doing so was to provide your contact information for the Uranium Work Group Mailing List. Please respond to this email to let us know if that was indeed your intent. Thank you for your time and consideration. Susan Horn, Esq Uranium Study Coordinator 109 Governor Street Richmond, VA 23219 (804) 864-7024 Hi Susan, I have a lot of valuable expert technical information to offer, about Real-Time In-Situ water well monitoring . After chasing the VDH to Chatham and Warrenton and attending four days of meetings. I have been thwarted at every attempt to input meaningful information to be placed in the record, or on the agenda for the group discussion meetings, my exhibits were not properly distributed to the discussion group members and VDH did not have those exhibits raised by the DOE facilitator as an issue for discussion. Why is the VDH using a federal employee who is doing such a terrible job as a facilitator in Commonwealth discussion groups? My ignored exhibits clearly showed technical information and graphics that teach the VDH and the public, exactly what must be done to provide cost effective, pre-mining, Real-Time, In-Situ, Wi-Fi Mesh Networked, on-line, public access. That collected baseline data would then become Internet viewable information about private and public well water radionuclide content baseline data provided to the public, the VDH, academia and mining proposes. Why is this vital public health safety data that the Governor The VDH, the UWG, and the GA specifically asked me to provide not being passed on to the DOE facilitator by VDH and then never even been raised by the DOE facilitator as a required topic for discussion by the discussion groups.? Why have the full color engineering drawing plans and graphics for scientific well water quality base-line monitoring for not been placed on the UWG Internet site (as both “Public Comments” and “Study Links and Documents”) and as of 20 Aug 2012 when they were provided on 8-9 August or 16 Aug 2012. Why does the “Public Comment” entry only allow text, but not PDFs BMP, JPEGS, TIFF, PSD, or any othe graphics comment entry file attachments? When will the UWG and the VDH actb as the governor intended when he wrote ”Any policy decision must be based on the factual findings …in addition public opinion that has been or will be received during the course of this process.” Why set a 2 minute public comment period and cut peple off to end a 2 hour meeting in 45 minutes because few people spoke . If I had not been silenced in Warrenton I could have explained to the UWG that fission power became obsolete a few weeks ago because there is now WORKING clean and safe nuclear fusion that Virginia would do well to adopt and not harm the health of citizens with Rad Waste while making fat more economic development happen. It is called Low-energy Surface Plasmon Polariton induced Electro-Weak Nuclear Fusion Power production. It will soon make Virginia's nuclear fission plants obsolete, and thus no uranium will ever be needed or mined again after Low –Energy Surface Plasmon Polariton induced Electro-Weak Nuclear Fusion Power production. begins. NASA Langley http://pesn.com/2012/01/12/9602009_NASA_Admits_LENR_Cold_Fusion_Game_Changer/ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iiQdl61c7O0 Yes put me the UWG mailing list In light of the VERY recent breakthroughs in clean endless and cheap Fusion energy please hold a prompt Richmond VA hearing so I ando other academics can advise the UWG how VA should drom dangerous uranium mining and instead lead the world in development of Low-energy Surface Plasmon Polariton induced Electro-Weak Nuclear Fusion Electric Power production.. With Best Regards Patrick Ward

Warrenton "Meeting" - Submitted by J. - 8/18/2012 4:48:47 PM
Comments/Questions: The Warrenton Health Department event, billed as a "public meeting" was run as a joke from beginning to end. One of the thousands of reasons why the ban should stay in place is we can't handle the environmental duties we have now, let alone anything radioactive. At the Warrenton meeting, the Chief Deputy for Public Health ACTUALLY SAID that they we're not looking at the possible impacts of uranium mining on surface water because Virginia already has surface water regulations. She should do a little research and get back with me on specifically which surface water regulations currently in place deal with uranium mining and milling. The answer is zero. Thank goodness the General Assembly has the final say and not these gubers.
Uranium Working Group Response: The Working Group is in fact looking at possible impacts of uranium mining on surface water and whether our current surface water regulations would need to be amended if the General Assembly chooses to lift the ban on uranium mining. That topic will be covered in great detail in the working group's presentation at the August 28th public meeting. The presentation will be posted today (Aug 24) and an extensive report prepared by Wright Environmental Services will be posted next week.

uranium - Submitted by Berkeley - 8/18/2012 7:27:22 AM
Comments/Questions: Keep the ban

Keep the BAN - Submitted by Deb - 8/17/2012 10:28:29 PM
Comments/Questions: I vehemently oppose lifting the ban on uranium mining. There is no safe or sensible way to mine uranium. There is no sound or sane reason to sacrifice our water, soil, air, and well-being for the sake of uranium. Keep the Ban.

Keep the Ban! - Submitted by Phillip - 8/17/2012 8:35:01 PM
Comments/Questions: What happens in drought conditions with uranium mining that uses a tremendous amount of water daily? Gretna (the town closest to the proposed uranium mine) saw a shortage of water just a few years ago and is working now to find an alternate supply. In today's news; http://progress-index.com/news/water-authority-calls-for-mandatory-restrictions-1.1360036 "In 2010, ARWA waited until the lake fell seven feet below the top of the dam to recommend mandatory measures. By that point, the situation had become so dire that levels plummeted an additional five feet in two weeks. ARWA was forced to call for emergency restrictions on Sept. 24, 2010." Keep the Ban on uranium mining in Virginia!

Uranium Mining in VA - Submitted by Donna - 8/17/2012 3:45:44 PM
Comments/Questions: We already know from the various studies already completed that establishing this uranium mine in VA would pose a grave risk to the people of Virginia and the surrounding areas. We also know that there is no such thing as safe containment. Some people seem to think that the people of VA will benefit in some way from this mine, whether that means thousands of new jobs or in the revenue generated by the resource extraction. Some think it will lessen our dependence on foreign energy. We haven't heard much about what exactly this uranium extraction will be used for, nor have we gotten details on how this project could help benefit Virginians at all. It is my contention that it won't help Virginians at all, only enrich a very few, most of whom are Canadian. Your response?

Question on Uranium Mining and Milling - Submitted by Anne - 8/17/2012 3:20:29 PM
Comments/Questions: Does anyone know what it will cost to safeguard and store these toxic wastes for 80,000 years? I have attended three public meetings and signed up to ask this question, submitted this question, and not once have I been allowed to ask this question. I don't like the idea of saddling future generations of Virginians with these costs just so a few folks can "take the money and run." Sounds like corporate welfare to me.
Uranium Working Group Response: Tailings storage and long-term monitoring of such will be addressed at the October meeting of the Uranium Working Group.

Keeping the Ban on uranium mining - Submitted by D. - 8/17/2012 2:50:28 PM
Comments/Questions: Are those in favor of lifting the uranium ban importing their water, air, and food from elsewhere? If so, where? The reason I ask is because their seems to be a constant need by some to turn back the progress that has been made concerning environmental issues. I enjoy drinking clean healthly water, eating healthy food, and breating clean air. I guess those intent on not having these things import them from elsewhere because if not, why, on earth would anyone being in favor of lifting the ban other than pure greed. I guess they could then use the profits of their greed to import their clean water, food, and air. For us average Americans who do not have that luxury I guess the goal is to cause us a life of that does not offer quality. I want and intend to live a long good health life here on earth. To ensure that, clean and healthy water, food, and air is vital. I have the right to that and demand it. The first thing God admonishes us here on earth to do is to take care of the earth and water. It is in Genesis. Read it. By allowing drastic consequences to our environment is disobeying God's Word and His Will for our lives to be happy and healthy.

Coles Hill Site - Submitted by Suzanne - 8/17/2012 12:40:52 PM
Comments/Questions: What are the names of the companies that own the uranium at Coles Hill. What percentage of the uranium does each company own?
Uranium Working Group Response: 1. One company, Virginia Uranium, Inc. (which operates in Chatham, Virginia) owns 100% of the development rights to the physical uranium in the ground at Coles Hill. Meaning, Virginia Uranium, Inc. is the only company that has leases with the Coles and Bowen families for the underground mineral rights at Coles Hill. 2. The ownership structure of Virginia Uranium, Inc. is currently as follows: a. 52.6% by local owners including the Coles and Bowen families, employees and other local investors b. 18.0% by Sprott Resources Corporation c. 29.4% by Virginia Energy Resources, which is managed under the direction of their CEO, Walter Coles, Jr.

uranium mining ban - Submitted by Martha H - 8/16/2012 6:46:02 PM
Comments/Questions: I left last night's meeting with the feeling that it had been a sham. I know it wasn't billed as a public hearing, but the narrow parameters were insulting. Please pay special attention (i.e. re-read) the comments of Rob Marmet and Georgia Herbert. That lifting the ban is even being considered is monstrous. The only possible motive of proponents is greed. Job creation? Give me a break. You're talking three years of jobs then automation. Please ask those legislators who took that jaunt to France if they noticed that France really doesn't have any valid alternative to nuclear power.

Genetic Biomarkers Used to Show Uranium Milling E - Submitted by Patrick - 8/16/2012 5:19:52 PM
Comments/Questions: Mutat Res. 1998 Sep 20;405(2):237-45. Population monitoring: experience with residents exposed to uranium mining/milling waste. Au WW, McConnell MA, Wilkinson GS, Ramanujam VM, Alcock N. Source Department of Preventive Medicine and Community Health, Division of Environmental Toxicology, The University of Texas Medical Branch, 2. 102 Ewing Hall, Galveston, TX 77555-1110, USA. william.au@utmb.edu Abstract More emphasis should be placed upon using biomarkers to address potential health risk among populations exposed to high concentrations of environmental toxicants. Among these studies, those which integrate exposure measurements with analyses of validated biomarkers may provide more reliable information for risk assessment and disease prevention. We have used a multidisciplinary approach to elucidate potential health hazards in a population living around uranium mining/milling facilities. The study included 24 target and 24 control residents who were matched for age and gender and selected based on time of residence in the study areas and proximity to mining/milling sites. Environmental samples were analyzed for uranium-238 (238U) concentrations and lead isotope ratios using inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) procedures, and blood samples were collected for cytogenetic analysis. We found that the 238U concentrations in soil samples were significantly higher than those in the control areas. In addition, the concentrations in the surface soil were significantly higher than in the subsurface soil (p<0.05) from target areas indicating environmental contamination by the mining/milling activities. Lead isotope data from soil samples taken near a railroad transfer location was significantly different from those of other sites, indicating contamination by non-native ore transported from sources outside of the region to local milling facilities for processing. Therefore, local residents have been exposed to low levels of radioactive contamination from the mining/milling activities on a daily basis for many years. From our cytogenetic analysis, the target population had more chromosome aberrations than the controls, although the differences were not significant (p<0.05). However, using our challenge assay, cells from the target population had a significantly abnormal DNA repair response, compared to cells from the same control population. In conclusion, the observed environmental contamination by uranium is consistent with the observed genotoxic effects in the target residents. Therefore, the residents have increased health risk and some of the health problems will most likely be related to exposure to the radioactive contaminants. Since the chromosome aberration frequency revealed increased, but not significant differences between the exposed and the control populations, we conclude that the health risk among the exposed residents is similar to those among nuclear workers. Copyright 1998 Elsevier Science B.V. PMID: 9748602 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

keep a ban on uranium mining in virginia - Submitted by miles - 8/16/2012 3:05:22 PM
Comments/Questions: As a Virginian, I support the ban on uranium mining in our State, and agree with these sentiments from last night's hearing: "One long-time conservation advocate called on the state to identify five safely mined uranium sites anywhere in the world with similar population density, precipitation and geology to Virginia. We agree: mining supporters keep saying it can be done safely. Prove it!" Please do not allow uranium mining to occur in Virginia.

Support the 30-year ban on uranium mining - Submitted by Anthony - 8/16/2012 2:04:45 PM
Comments/Questions: Please continue the ban on uranium mining in VA: Uranium mining will significantly damage our economic engines: agriculture and tourism Property values will be diminished Virginia is ill-equipped to effectively monitor, report on and mitigate the pollution that will result from uranium mining Taxpayers will be left with the financial burden of cleanup for centuries

Uranium Mining - Submitted by Gretchen - 8/16/2012 1:49:44 PM
Comments/Questions: Keep the ban on Uranium mining. It is not done safely or environmentally responsibly anywhere in the world, and it would be a disaster for Virginia. Gretchen Brevnov

Uranium Mining Ban - Submitted by Brett - 8/16/2012 12:59:01 PM
Comments/Questions: I strongly favor keeping the 30-year ban on uranium mining in Virginia. It is a threat to the environment, people's health, property values, and the financial obligations of the state. Please ensure that the ban remains intact as is. Thank you,

Keep Ban on Uranium Mining in VA - Submitted by Jennifer E - 8/16/2012 12:54:05 PM
Comments/Questions: Dear Governor, I am one of those citizens of VA who oppose lifting the ban on uranium mining in the state. We have plenty of examples of "wishful thinking" about the safety of such activity, which have proven to be a burden and curse on the people living around it. I urge you and other lawmakers to USE YOUR GOD-GIVEN INTELLIGENCE, WISDOM and EXPERIENCE, to protect the environment and health of the citizens who elected you to office and who are under your care. Do not sell out or gamble with our health for greed! Project proponents need to meet a high standard of proof that what they propose is really safe, and so far they have failed to provide incontrovertible evidence to back up their claims. Keep the ban. It's not worth the risk. Thank you.

Uranium Mining in Virginia - Submitted by John - 8/16/2012 12:03:54 PM
Comments/Questions: As a United States Veteran and a tax-paying citizen, I am greatly concerned about the amount of energy that we import from foreign nations. I proudly fought for this great country to help ensure everlasting freedom. I do not consider our continued dependence on foreign sources of energy freedom. In Virginia we are blessed to have an abundance of natural resources to become America’s east coast energy capital, whether it is coal, natural gas, oil, or nuclear energy. I support an “all of the above” energy approach to keep Virginia moving in the right energy direction and ask that you embrace the same approach. Support lifting the moratorium on uranium mining in Virginia. Uranium fuels our nuclear power plants and since we rely on nuclear more than any other source for our electricity, we need to use what we have right under our feet. This is the only way to help Governor McDonnell make Virginia the “Energy Capital of the East Coast.” Regards, John Amiral

where's the beef? - Submitted by jesse - 8/15/2012 1:08:15 PM
Comments/Questions: Why dont you ever answer any of the comments/questions other than to say that the issue will be addressed at a later date...what about the other 99% of the comments? Maybe they are just too much for the uwg to bear, all that NO URANIUM MINING nonsense just gets in the way of writing the regulations. Y'all better get a move on, December is coming up and Santa wants to deliver a big bag of those regulations to the legislature, so VUI can get on with the job of poisoning our lives and making billions for their canadian buddies. No need to reply, I know you have better things to do, paper shuffling, lunch, etc.

Energy - Submitted by Charles - 8/14/2012 10:24:33 AM
Comments/Questions: I believe our country should become less dopendent on foreign energy

Energy - Submitted by Charles - 8/14/2012 10:24:17 AM
Comments/Questions: I believe our country should become less dopendent on foreign energy

Clean mines are expensive - Submitted by Benjamin - 8/14/2012 9:12:16 AM
Comments/Questions: This summer, I rode my bicycle through the American southwest. The scenery was breathtaking; equally shocking to me was the vast, marring legacy of mining. Before seeing this in person, I would have favored a "proceed with caution" approach to mining in Virginia. But after witnessing mountain streams running unnatural shades of orange and green, enormous mounds of dusty rubble, and fleets of abandoned mine infrastructure, I believe Virginia must use significantly more caution with these issues, especially with our natural resources at stake. Unless strong, binding regulations are enacted to hold mining companies accountable now and into the future, cleanup will never be complete. A thorough cleanup is an expensive cleanup, though it is the one that most Virginians expect. Are we ensuring this will be done, even though it will be costly for mining companies? We must be candid about the level of cleanup Virginians can expect based on the regulations we preemptively place on mining.

Please Say No - Submitted by Carie - 8/13/2012 1:15:47 PM
Comments/Questions: One only needs to Google 'uranium mining' to find countless articles about contaminated water, leaking mines, and TAXPAYERS on the hook for enormous clean-up expenses. We have a well here at our house in VA. Is the state of VA going to pay for daily monitoring to ensure my drinking water is safe for my children? my animals? Can the state afford all the lawsuits from people with contaminated wells? While the revenue from the mining might look attractive now, consider the cost of what is left when the rich miners leave and the state is left with ruined resources and environmental cleanup. I'm sure Colorado could tell us a little bit about how much fun uranium mines are.....

Uranium - Submitted by William - 8/13/2012 10:10:22 AM
Comments/Questions: If something"goes wrong", what then?

Mining ban - Submitted by Jose - 8/9/2012 8:44:35 PM
Comments/Questions: Please keep the uranium mining ban

uranium mining - Submitted by kevin - 8/9/2012 7:15:10 PM
Comments/Questions: uranium mining was banned for the safety of the people, it should remain that way. There is no doubt that our water will absolutely become contaminated if mining is allowed to begin. There is not a doubt in my mind that the powers that be will gamble my families safety if it means a dollar is to be made.

uranium mining - Submitted by Michele - 8/9/2012 6:40:44 PM
Comments/Questions: To Whom It May Concern: Our water supplies are too important to jeopardize with uranium mining. Our aquifers and surface waters are complex ecological systems and it would be impossible to prevent contamination. Once contaminated, it would be impossible to reclaim. Uranium mining is a terrible idea for Virginia. Please keep the ban in effect. Sincerely, Michele Mattioli

support lifting moratorium - Submitted by Amanda - 8/9/2012 11:43:00 AM
Comments/Questions: My father was a nuclear engineer at TMI so I grew up in the shadow of nuclear energy production. I think it is a great disservice to professionals like him - our highly educated and skilled workforce - to say that they can't do things safely while also keeping environmental stewardship as a top priority. The fact of the matter is that Virginia already gets the highest percentage of its energy from nuclear sources. Yet we import nearly all of it from other countries - several of whom are not known for their safety and environmental track record. Why should we NOT pursue this resource, in our own Country, in our OWN STATE, when our laws and regulations are the strictest the world over?

Keep the Ban - Submitted by Deborah - 8/8/2012 10:31:04 PM
Comments/Questions: I have attended all of the meetings since the formation of the UWG. There are many more questions and no answers. Uranium mining should not even be considered in such an area with high population. Water is more precious than uranium! Keep the Ban on uranium mining in Pittsylvania County or anywhere in Virginia.

Uranium - Submitted by Thomas - 8/8/2012 8:30:09 PM
Comments/Questions: I know you've heard all the objections--unknowns, air and water quality, extreme weather and other natural events--let me add my name to that chorus. Uranium mining has too many scary and deadly impacts for Virginia.

Comment on uranium mining/milling - Submitted by Erik - 8/8/2012 8:15:53 PM
Comments/Questions: I urge you to recommend that VA keep the ban on uranium mining and milling in the state. Uranium tailings pose dangers to human health and water supplies for hundreds of thousands of years. There is no way that we can justify morally leaving such a dangerous legacy to future generations, no matter how much economic development uranium mining may create. No amount of money is worth creating such powerful waste for hundreds of generations into the future. Please help Virginia to keep the ban. Thank you for your consideration.

uranium subcommittee - Submitted by Alicia - 8/8/2012 5:33:36 PM
Comments/Questions: I think it is unfortunate that our Governor is pushing to have legislation passed to permit uranium mining in this state. The very real possibility of polluting future water supplies and land for future generations is unforgiveable and unacceptable in pursuit of the all might dollar.
Uranium Working Group Response: The Governor has not taken a position on whether the ban should be lifted and is not pushing to pass legislation to that affect. The UWG was created as a fact-finding body to answer the questions raised by other recent studies to help inform the decisionmakers who must decide whether to lift the ban.

Energy Independence - Submitted by Jay - 8/8/2012 5:03:38 PM
Comments/Questions: I am a veteran of the United States of American. I am also a taxpayer. As a veteran, I knew my fellow soldiers were properly trained and my equipment was battle tested so that I was ready for any task or mission asked of me. As a taxpayer you can imagine, there is nothing more frustrating to watch than my elected officials and hard earned money go to Washington on failed pet projects like Solyndra that did nothing to meet our energy needs. The United States military has relied on nuclear energy for decades. It is time for the rest of our government to become more educated on its safety and practical use. Uranium mining in Virginia could provide enough energy to power Virginia for 75 years and requires no government investment. Lift the moratorium on uranium mining and do something to meet our energy needs, not waste our tax dollars. Regards, Jay Brown

keep the ban - Submitted by diane - 8/8/2012 2:00:59 PM
Comments/Questions: As a woman of faith I want to let my concerns be known. It is our responsiblity to care for this amazing planet and all of creation. I don't understand how lifting a ban to open Uranium mining is being a good steward of all we have been given. Yes, you may create new jobs by lifting the ban however; more than that you will be opening a whole can of worms with more damage than any good tthat could possibly come form lifting the Ban. The health issues you will create by lifting the currunet 30 year Ban are unimaginable. It is in all our best intrests that the Ban that was issued more than 30 years ago remain in place. This Ban was issued to keep society safe. As nothing has changed to show that Uranium mining is no longer a threat to the health of creation and humans keeping the Ban is imperative. Diane Bayer Minister of Christian Formation

uranium - Submitted by jesse - 8/8/2012 12:49:03 PM
Comments/Questions: The uwg is nothing more than a group of pawns to the Mcdonnell administration and the canadian mining interests that call themselves "virginia uranium,inc." The creation of uwg and the spending of millions of our tax dollars for them to create a "regulatory framework" for uranium mining is an immoral waste of tax money and a thinly veiled attempt to make the people of Va. believe that the Commonwealth has some sort of real interest in "information gathering", when in fact ALL the information anyone would need, and then some, is already out there for all to see. The members of the uwg are the scapegoats for the mining interests, led by ms. France, a former lobbyist for the earth-fracking natural gas indusry. How does that qualify her to lead anything? The uwg and its agends are nothing more than another behind-the-back attempt to force uranium mining on the people of the commonwealth. None of this is anything new. If you study the history of mining in the US, you see that this underhanded and often illegal sort of activity has always been the norm. Pay off the politicians, pay off the press, and proceed with the mining, that has been the MO for all sorts of mining since the beginning. My question to ms. France and the others on the uwg is this: how well would YOU sleep at night knowing a uranium mine and mill were just a few miles from YOUR home? Would you not wonder what was in the air you were breathing and the water you were using? Do you really believe you can create a "regulatory framework" that would put our minds at ease? NO, you cannot. Again, look at the history of mining in the US: "Accident" after "accident", non compliance with regulations, non enforcement of regulations, corruption, bribing of bureaucrats, coverups of pollution, and a slap on the wrist if you happen to get caught. Why are we to believe that uranium mining in Va. would be any different? It would not. Keep the ban. Make the ban on uranium mining in Va.a PERMANENT, unrepealable law.

Public Health meeting 8/7 - Submitted by Kim - 8/8/2012 6:19:20 AM
Comments/Questions: We were unable to attend the meeting on August seventh and wanted to post our comments/views via this medium. A little over four years ago our family purchased a farm in Grenta. It is about 5 miles from the Coles Hill mining site. Had we known this at the time, we never would have gone forward with this purchase and complete investment of our personal resources. We have been blessed with a large family. Our family includes eight children as well as my husband's elderly mother. We have an "organically managed" farm where we raise pastured meats and eggs and other clean foods for a local customer base. We service up through Lynchburg and over to Roanoke VA. A number of our customers who are environmentally aware have already contacted us in order to, with regret, inform us that if this mining venture goes through they would be unable to support our farm any longer. If this mining venture goes through i don't believe, in good conscience, that we could continue to raise and sell any food product being so close to the mining site. The lifting of the ban and the commencement of mining in this area will devestate us and our family business. It could potentially devestate VA. If i decided to throw a wild party late into the night the neighbors would have every right to complain and also to recieve assistance from the public authorities because what i am choosing to do is negatively affecting the whole neighborhood. If i refused to comply, in deference to my neighbors, i would be guilty of a crime. What this mine is going to do to "the neighbors" is criminal. It is wrong. With the recent storm shutting down the electricity in a great part of the state, some people for two whole weeks, how can we even be considering a toxic mine and dump whose "safety mechanisms" will all be based on technology that nature can easily cause to malfunction? I said can easily cause, but with the very uncertain weather patterns in our area, it is safe to say that nature WILL cause malfunction. Even if a considerable amount of time elapses before a major malfunction occurs, there will be damage to water and air that cannot be remedied. What kind of safe guard can the health department give or enforce? How important is the health of the, relatively small number of comparably "low income" people in this area to the government? To an agency like yours? What about the negative long term health problems such a mine will cause? Most of the people who are currently for this venture have something to gain financially from it. I heard the director of the mining operation speak at the last community meeting in Chatham. He called this a "30-yeare project that would provide high income jobs". 30 years is just one generation of work and revenue. And will the high income jobs REALLY be given to locals or will they be paid to the high level imported people who will live 40-50 miles away from the drilling site, not right on top of it...? Many of the people who are opposed are just normal citizens, neighbors, who are looking at their very bleak future in the shadow of such a mine. If there really is NO PROBLEM with health and water due to this mine is it possible to impose strict fines or demand big compensation for the neighbors who are going to be shoved out of their homes and have their livlihood robbed from them? Who will be responsible if the water is damaged? Who will "pay out" in the class action suit when a whole community has cancer or other diseases due to contaminated air and water? I know about technology and that it is amazing and wonderful. But it is so very fallable. There are too many examples around the world to testify to this fact. Look at Asia (Thailand and Japan are both suffering severely from technological failures in nuclear power plants.) The people of New Zealand are fighting to the teeth over a mine proposed to be open 500 miles away from their homes! Not 5(like us). Coles Hill is right in the middle of a community of farmers and people and citizens and tax payers. It is right in the middle of a high precipitation stormy state FULL of people. On a personal note: this mine will devestate our family and our future. Please please do what you can to stop it. Do what you can to protect our health, the health of our community and animals and the quality of healthy life in Virginia. Thank you.

water - Submitted by Suzanne - 8/8/2012 6:12:45 AM
Comments/Questions: If mining and milling occurs in Pittsylvania County, what are the consequences of the water used for this industrial process on the groundwater and wells of nearby residents? Will wells go dry? Will the mining itself contaminate groundwater with mining chemicals?
Uranium Working Group Response: These issues will be addressed at the August 28, 2012 public meeting of the Uranium Working Group being held in Virginia Beach at 6 pm at the Virginia Beach Convention Center.

Uranium vs. Clean Water - Submitted by Kay - 8/7/2012 11:48:35 PM
Comments/Questions: Uranium mining is incompatible with clean water. Uranium mining has never been done anywhere that it did not cause a variety of metals, minerals and radionuclides to enter wells and surface water. The talk of safe levels of these unwanted toxins in wells fails to comfort home and business owners. I have no intention of allowing some multinational corporation be enriched with billions of dollars at the expense of my peace of mind, property value or health. I love the peace and beauty of my home, and I know however well meaning, there would always be mistakes and slip ups at this mine. I also believe if there were breaches of containment, there would be coverups. The coal mining industry in VA is a disaster of regulation and has poisoned the water where ever it has been mined. Penalties, fines all regulation has failed to keep the local water safe. Human error, uncontrollable weather, seismic activity, hubris...no mine, no threat. This mine has no benefit for me or my neighbors, only peril. Talk of controlled risk is laughable. I would mention technical issues but all three divisions in this UWG know well this is a disaster in the making. I guess if this has to happen, the only regulation I would want to see is a provision that would have the company buy out any local citizen that wants no part of this at a fair price plus a moving stipend. Really. They will be able to sell these houses to their well compensated employees. If my well becomes poisoned, I will be stuck since banks won't finance a house without water. This scenario is common in mining and fracking areas, but anyone that would consider working in a uranium mine, gleefully, probably wouldn't think twice about having their family live near one.

Keep the Ban - Submitted by Shelly - 8/7/2012 12:36:49 PM
Comments/Questions: Any spill at the mining site could contaminate drinking water. Exposure to uranium waste has been linked to increases in leukemia, kidney disease and cancers. There is no safe method for disposing of uranium waste. Virginia's wet climate adds to the certainty of uranium leakage. Virginia and North Carolina have experienced major storms and flooding. To add to this problem, Virginia has earthquake faults. Who will benefit from this?!!! Some out of state or foreign company will make a lot of money and what will Virginia be left with???? The answer to this is big clean-up bills going on for centuries as well as damaging health costs for the state. Virginia is trying to clean up the Chesapeake Bay. Take another look at what this comparitively small clean-up job has done to the fishing industry of clamming, scalops and recreational fishing. A dead zone has been caused that doesn't bring in tourists. This affects the tourism and food and restaurant industries. Don't think about short term monetary gain. Instead plan for a healthy future for ourselves, our constituants and our chidren. PS Super funds have been created to attempt to clean up toxic landfills, toxic rivers. Examples can be found in NY from industrial waste finding its way into the sewer systems; GE has been sued for contaminating the Hudson River. NJ's Love Canal is notorious for its toxins. Examine the cancer clusters around these toxic sites. Study the coal mine situation and observe how regulations are skirted and accidents happen to cause loss of life and property and law suits. Example: Massy Corp has been sued for loss of life due to a spill. Study the examples and come to the only decision to MAINTAIN THE BAN ON URANIUM MINING.

Uranium Mining - Submitted by Kathy - 8/7/2012 12:02:46 PM
Comments/Questions: We do not need uranium mining in Virginia.There are too many health risks and there is no safe way to do this.DO NOT LIFT THE BAN!

meeting Aug 7, 2012 in Chatham, va - Submitted by frances - 8/7/2012 11:15:42 AM
Comments/Questions: Will there be a public comment session at this meeting? Can I submit questions to be answered?
Uranium Working Group Response: The August 7th meeting is designed to take public comment. Speakers will sign up at the beginning of the meeting and have 2 minutes to provide their comment or ask their question.

Uranium mining - Submitted by Wistar - 8/7/2012 8:15:28 AM
Comments/Questions: Sirs/Mesdames, Mining practices that undermine SAFE and CLEAN water further exacerbates the safe water SHORTAGE we will be experiencing more and more with global warming and DROUGHT, storms. WATER will definitely cause us BIG problems in the future, so we must do what is right by our PEOPLE and NATURE. Politicians must stand by what is healthy, and we hold you ACCOUNTABLE. Thank you for listening. Wistie Jobe

Keep the Ban - Submitted by Rhonda - 8/7/2012 2:31:58 AM
Comments/Questions: I have family who stand to be poisoned by this proposition. Other countries have no problem pursuing alternative energy sources. Germany, a country not even known for its "sunny day" quota for solar energy, supporting half of the country for 22 hours on solar energy recently. Then look at our country, who not only wants to deface the landscape with ugly mines and storage tanks and chemicals, who doesn't mind poisoning the entire water supply for the Chesapeake Bay area, just to make a buck. I am sickened by this mentality. To top it off, I am sickened that we don't have environmental laws that can stop this action altogether in its tracks. If we follow the money, we will see that our government is being bought by fossil fuel corporations--brainless, mindless entities with no other goal than to turn a profit. When did we decide to release our sensibilities to money? When did we decide to release the health and well-being of our citizens and our wildlife to money? Come back down to earth--refuse the seduction of money and power. We are the people, and we tell YOU what we want. You do not dictate to us what you will deliver. I am a voice, and I demand that you refuse to consider this ridiculous proposal to endanger my family's drinking water with a costly, destructive project.

Keep the ban on uranium - Submitted by Ari - 8/7/2012 12:02:44 AM
Comments/Questions: Any arguments made claiming that the mining can be done safely are narrow in their scope of consideration. There is no safe way to do it, considering long term effects, and the arguments in favor of mining amount to jobs for an economically underserved area. The temporary jobs generated, coupled with the long term damage to the environment and the image of the areas where the mining can occur, will leave a much greater depression, both economically and environmentally than any benefit might outweigh. If you wouldn't want this in your backyard, don't put it in someone else's. Uranium is dangerous, and it will not stay put.

Private water wells - Submitted by Louis - 8/6/2012 11:30:01 PM
Comments/Questions: How will it be possible to dig into the ground 1000 feet and not effect the water table that supplies private wells only a couple hundred feet deep at best? Who will check to see that existing wells are not contaminated? If you take a piece of properties's water supply you have basically rendered it useless!There is no way this can be done without drastic changes in the way local people will have to live!

Opposition to lifting Uranium Mining Ban - Submitted by Patricia - 8/6/2012 9:37:52 PM
Comments/Questions: I am opposed to lifting the ban to allow Uranium mining anywhere in Virginia. I feel that the risk of accidents and pollution is too high. I don't think it's humanly possible to say that there will be no accidents. Additionally, I don't think our state has manpower or trained staff to regulate and monitor Uranium mining activities. I appreciate you have an easy way for individuals to comment and hope your report includes the widespread opposition from citizens.

Concerning Uranium Mining in Va - Submitted by Candice - 8/6/2012 8:47:20 PM
Comments/Questions: I have several concerns about uranium mining. 1) Virginia is known for its wine industry. We have wine producers throughout VA. If any of the tailings contaminate the water source, then the wine's no good. The VA wine industry starts to becomes hosed. We have too much travel and tourism connected with our state wine industry to even take a chance with this. 2) There's no way to contain all of the tailings, it's like dust in your house, it just gets in. 3) once the ground is contaminated, it seems to me then that that particular area then would no longer be useful for growing anything. 4) The most obvious is that nuclear energy is not a renewable source, and we should be concentrating on solar and wind, not mining uranium for our nuclear power plants. 5) The amount of jobs that uranium mining will bring would be far less than if we put a wind farm off the coast from Norfolk, 300 vs 1000s (LCCS.org Forum on Uranium Mining Nov 2011 GWU). Summary: Aside from the far more important aspects of not very many jobs, it's a non-renewable source of energy, is that the uranium mining will contaminate water that's used by our local wine makers. Gov McDonnell raises a glass to toast Va wine industry: http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/mcdonnell-raises-a-glass-to-toast-virginia-wine-industry-showing-at-international-competition/2012/07/31/gJQAZs60LX_story.html Please keep the ban on Uranium Mining!! Thank-you Candice Guillaudeu Leesburg, VA.

uranium mining - Submitted by Marcy - 8/6/2012 7:31:41 PM
Comments/Questions: There is no way to assure the public's safety if uranium mining is done in Virginia. We have only to look at existing nuclear disasters to realize that even a small version of them could be disastrous for public health. I urge you to set aside this idea & focus your attention on clean-energy alternatives. We were just in Alberta, Canada, & the windmills there, for instance, produce an enormous amount of energy. Nix nuclear; Chernobyl & Fukushima should signal to all that human error can & does happen, and the stakes are way too high.

uranium mining - Submitted by Steve - 8/6/2012 6:29:17 PM
Comments/Questions: I own a lot on leesville lake in pittsylvania county and plan to build a home. If they lift ban on uranium mining i will most likely build elsewhere.

Uranium mining - Submitted by Jennifer - 8/6/2012 5:37:22 PM
Comments/Questions: The BIG question is.... how to insure that my drinking water, and the water for the species around me in Virginia, is SAFE. That is crucial, that is what we must insure, that is what we cannot "gamble" with!!! We are talking about life. Water is life; we must safeguard it with all possible measures. Profit, and short term gain, should not be a part of this outcome. Careful, your grandchildren are watching.

Ban uranium mining in Virginia - Submitted by Kay - 8/6/2012 3:27:05 PM
Comments/Questions: As a life-long resident of Virginia Beach, I know how precious water is in the state. As a citizen, I also know how the well being of state residents and their future are too often compromised for the financial gain of a few who buy our politicians. A review of uranium mining in other states illustrates the serious threat that such mining has to the water supply, human health, and the environment. Having worked on my doctorate at Arizona State, I am too well aware of the continuing negative impact that uranium mining has had on the Navajo Nation in the state: "In terms of both short and long term environmental impact, uranium mining is by far the most environmentally problematic of any mining activity because radioactivity of the ore presents an intangible that cannot be chemically mitigated." For the short-term gain that uranium mining in Virginia might bring to the state, the long-term consequences do not warrant permitting uranium mining.

uranium - Submitted by Ronald - 8/6/2012 2:38:44 PM
Comments/Questions: Maintain a ban on uranium mining in Virginia.

Please Protect Our Water Supply - Submitted by Andrew - 8/6/2012 2:16:49 PM
Comments/Questions: There is nothing more important than having a clean safe water supply. Please do not let any mining occur near our Lake Gaston Water supply. It is not worth the risk!

uranium mining - Submitted by Peggy - 8/6/2012 1:59:32 PM
Comments/Questions: Keep uranium mining out of Virginia!

Marlridge@gmail.com - Submitted by Martha - 8/6/2012 1:29:03 PM
Comments/Questions: Virginia should not lift the ban on Uranium mining. The wet weather conditions is this area preclude it from being done in a way that it can be stored safely. Also this NOT the energy future for Virginia, we need investment in wind and solar, there are no millings that have to be protected for 1,000s of years from wind and solar.

Uranium ban - Submitted by Brenda and Bill - 8/6/2012 1:20:37 PM
Comments/Questions: Please keep the uranium ban. The health of our water and soil and the long range health of our communities are at stake here. To proceed to mine uranium even cautiously has no guarantees. The welfare of our commonwealth is far too important to put at risk. Sincerely, Brenda and Bill Hyson

Uranium - Submitted by William - 8/6/2012 1:06:38 PM
Comments/Questions: Any chance "nothing can go wrong"....

Need to Keep Uranium Ban - Submitted by J - 8/6/2012 1:00:18 PM
Comments/Questions: Safe water is a human right and to preserve that right and to fulfill government's responsibilities to protect the public's health was why the ban was imposed. No science or anything else has since emerged changing the safety and health findings from the past and thus lifting it is irrational and irresponsible and a choice to harm people, possibly even kill.

Uranium mining - Submitted by Albert - 8/5/2012 8:43:04 PM
Comments/Questions: I am unalterably opposed to uranium mining

Uranium - Submitted by Arnott - 8/5/2012 4:33:10 PM
Comments/Questions: This mining was done for good reason. DO NOT LIFT The BAN!!

Public Comments - Submitted by Susan - 8/4/2012 11:09:52 AM
Comments/Questions: When time for public comments is limited, it takes time for speakers to prepare comments that are both productive and designed to fit within the time-frame. Please let us know asap how much time speakers at the August 7 meeting (and all future meetings)will be given to share their knowledge, views and questions. I also would like to suggest that you have an additional tool on your home page: "Meeting Links," which would give dates, times, places, topics, speakers, public comment rules, etc. for every uranium-related meeting whether it is open to the public or not. Thank you for working to give the citizens of Virginia a place at the table on this important question.
Uranium Working Group Response: Thank you for the feedback. Speakers at the August 7th meeting will be given 2 minutes each for comments. We will post projected alloted times for future meetings. We try to allow for as much time as possible for each speaker and are limited by the number of speakers who sign up and the time the venue allows us to stay.

please post web archives of your meetings - Submitted by Bret - 8/2/2012 6:24:47 PM
Comments/Questions: Your live webstream of the August 2 meeting does not work and does not allow me to understand whether the UWG will address all leaggly required aspects of a regulatory framework for U mining an milling
Uranium Working Group Response: We will post the videos as soon as possible.

Can you post the videos of the meetings on the web - Submitted by Mike - 8/2/2012 5:56:44 PM
Comments/Questions: I can't make it out to the meeting and can't watch it streaming live on your site. If you're streaming it live, you must have the capability to post it after-the-fact. Please post the videos of the past meetings on the site for all to see.
Uranium Working Group Response: We will post the videos as soon as possible.

early warning system - Submitted by Mary Denson - 8/1/2012 2:34:35 PM
Comments/Questions: In a recent meeting in Chatham, Mr. Lassetter indicated that an as part of the planning and regulations for uranium mining would be the creation of an "early warning system" in case of an accident. In light of the recent storms in Virginia, which left many people without power or water, what would that early warning system look like?
Uranium Working Group Response: We are currently working with the Virginia Department of Emergency Management on the task of identifying a unified emergency preparedness and response plan as directed by the Governor in his January 19, 2012 letter establishing the Uranium Working Group. As indicated at our public meeting on March 7, 2012, we will cover this topic at the November public meeting of the Working Group.

Exhibits from 1984 Hearings - Submitted by Patrick - 8/1/2012 2:33:54 PM
Comments/Questions: I assume all the exhibits I and others Such as Bob Alverez presented in the 1984 Uranium mining hearings to be made part of the official record are available now at your office. I wish to see them and confirm that they are all still present in that record and available for the General Assembly to re-review. When and where can I inspect these 28 year old documents and materials? I would like copies of them to be made available for myself and other s to re-submit at all of the upcoming public hearings.
Uranium Working Group Response: Many of them have been posted to this site. Any others that you would like to review will be made available for your review. They are kept at the Charlottesville office of the Department of Mines, Minerals, and Energy at our Division of Geologic and Mineral Resources. Copies would be subject to a FOIA request and the resulting associated fees and time guidlines provided in the Code of Virginia. Please feel free to contact the Division of Geologic and Mineral Resources to schedule a visit or make your FOIA request.

Keep the Uranium mining ban - Submitted by Jeffrey - 8/1/2012 1:25:47 PM
Comments/Questions: I favor continuation of the ban on uranium mining in Virginia. Current technology cannot assure that contamination of of our precious and irreplacible water resources will not take place in such a large industrial operation. Without clean & safe water resources, all of south west Virginia will suffer - our wells, our lakes (drinking water), our environment could easily be harmed beyond any means to repair. I do not trust that VDH has the funding to provide adequate inforcement of regulations for such a enourmous and risky industrial disturbance in our community. In this political climate, where politicians campaign on a platform of less govenment and less regulation, I cannot trust that our State officials and legislators will provide a robust and long term regulatory authority that will put the health and safety issues of its residents ahead of a massive financial operation. How does a State agency provide for the liability of stored uranium waste products and contaminated water" for the ten thousand years of risk? The short answer is "it cannot!" The only way to truely safeguard our water resources from the contamination of uranium mining is to not allow uranium mining - The risk is simply too great, the rewards benefit only a few.

8/2/12. meeting - Submitted by Sarah - 8/1/2012 5:58:15 AM
Comments/Questions: Please enforce the 3 or 4. minute time limit if there is a time for public question and comment.

Keep the Ban - Submitted by Rhonda - 7/31/2012 9:34:46 PM
Comments/Questions: I cannot believe that Virginia is even considering lifting the ban on uranium mining. No amount of commerce or "job creation" can counterbalance the health of Virginia citizens and the health of our beautiful land. Uranium mining will potentially contaminate our water supply, release radiation into the atmosphere, and endanger the wildlife, in addition to endangering human life. Our weather patterns and seismic activity in Virginia make our state unsuitable for such a volatile practice as uranium mining. Virginia is known for its beautiful landscapes and its many waterways. Uranium mining could potentially turn our state into a wasteland. If we would focus on using the natural renewable resources that nature already provides us, such as wind and solar technologies, there would be little need to pursue such an invasive rape of our land that could leave a large segment of our population vulnerable to its dangers. Please keep the ban on uranium mining--forever.

No to Uranium Mining in VA - Submitted by linda - 7/31/2012 6:50:29 PM
Comments/Questions: Our health and the earth is worth more than the dollars generated by uranium mining. Leave the mountains where they are. We've done enough damage with mountain top clearing for mining. Let's not do more with uranium mining. Support people's lives as much as their livelihood - DON'T support uranium mining in VA. Thanks, Concerned Citizen - Linda Ferguson

Legal Notice and Comment - Submitted by Bonnie - 7/31/2012 4:34:13 PM
Comments/Questions: I do not see the link for your required "notice" that one wants to comment at a public meeting. Where is the public meeting "sign up" and where are the notices of the meetings? We want to speak – at the Chatham meeting – on Thursday, August 2, 2012 at 6:00 p.m. – Bonnie and Tom Mason – 443.928.3093 – address: 317 Wyndhurst Dr., Lynchburg, VA 24502.
Uranium Working Group Response: The sign up to speak at the Chatham meeting will occur at the beginning of the meeting. We look forward to hearing from you at the meeting.

Uranium mining in VA - Submitted by Erica - 7/31/2012 4:06:38 PM
Comments/Questions: I would like to think we have learned something from past mining projects. http://www.epa.gov/region9/superfund/navajo-nation/ From the EPA above website: Today the mines are closed, but a legacy of uranium contamination remains, including over 500 abandoned uranium mines (AUMs) as well as homes and drinking water sources with elevated levels of radiation. Potential health effects include lung cancer from inhalation of radioactive particles, as well as bone cancer and impaired kidney function from exposure to radionuclides in drinking water. Virginia gets way too much precipitation,we have hurricans,tornados,and since our 5.8 back in Aug 2011, we can add earthquakes...over 100 aftershocks including a 2.4 today. It is well known the waste generated from uranium mining operations and rainwater runoff can contaminate groundwater and surface water resources with heavy metals and traces of radioactive uranium. Mining uranium in Virginia is not worth the risks and is not the legacy an intelligent society should leave for future generations. Thank you

please add to mailing list - Submitted by Paula - 7/31/2012 9:33:00 AM
Comments/Questions: Please add me to your email list. Thanks, Paula Bryant

UWG "small group" participation - Submitted by Barbara - 7/31/2012 6:58:25 AM
Comments/Questions: Re: "Small discussion groups" sign-up and selection for August 8 meetings in Chatham: How is the selection that you call "random" for these discussion groups " random" when applicants are required to provide specific information about an their relevant backgrounds and employment? Does anyone in THE UWG know the meaning of "random?"
Uranium Working Group Response: The participants will be chosen at random. The reason for asking for background information is so we will have that information about the participants who are randomly selected.

Human error - Submitted by Carol - 7/30/2012 3:51:41 PM
Comments/Questions: Humans make errors. When they do, the environment, especially drinking water, will be catastrophically damaged. It defies logic to think that we are even considering uranium mining in Virginia. But there are always people who will risk everything for money. God help s.

Keeping the Ban on Uranium Mining in Virginia - Submitted by Scott - 7/30/2012 2:05:43 PM
Comments/Questions: The Alliance for Progressive Values opposes the lifting of the decades old ban on mining uranium in the Commonwealth. There is ample evidence that mining uranium in Virginia is a deeply problematic venture at best with short term gains for a few that must be measured against potentially disastrous long term outcomes for much of the population of the state. While heavily constrained by its mandate, the National Academy of Sciences report on uranium mining was clear in outlining the many barriers to safely extracting uranium in Virginia. Along with their concerns we would like to highlight the following issues. • Virginia has a unique climate and population density unlike that of any other place in the world where uranium is mined. There simply is no precedent for large scale mining of radioactive material near so many people and in so wet and volatile an environment. • There are serious dangers to the water table and real fears of contamination to the aquifer that serves much of the Tidewater and Virginia Beach, inherent in mining at the current proposed location. • There are serious unanswered questions about storage and disposal of the radioactive tailings and debris from the operation of such a mine. Discussions of different storage methods have as yet yielded no environmentally satisfactory and economically viable alternatives either above or below ground. • There is no guarantee that mining would continue on a sustained basis and any boosts to the local economy would be transitory and dependent on the world market. • Uranium mining is highly mechanized and the bulk of the jobs would go to experienced miners from other parts of the world. Estimates as to jobs created have steadily dropped from an optimistic 1,000 to a few hundred. While we are keenly aware of the need for jobs in the south western part of the state, we believe this can best be addressed by other means, for instance encouraging opportunities to exploit new, sustainable 21st century energy technologies like solar and wind that hold out the promise of stable, well-paying green jobs. With this in mind we reiterate our opposition to lifting the ban on uranium mining in Virginia. Sincerely, Scott Price Public Policy Director Alliance for Progressive Values Box 14664 Richmond Virginia, 23221 APVonline.org

Aug 2 meeting - Submitted by Dennis - 7/30/2012 1:34:52 PM
Comments/Questions: I plan to be at the meeting. I live in Dry Fork so this is a matter of personal importance, not political nor save the world. I'm doing my homework tailing piles and water run off.

Mining Uranium in Virginia - Submitted by John - 7/29/2012 11:01:48 AM
Comments/Questions: I am support of lifting the moratorium on mining uranium in Virginia. It will create jobs and help us become less dependent on foreign sources of energy. Governor McDonnell has said countless times that he is for an all-of-the-above approach to energy, and that he wants Virginia to be the energy capital of the east coast. But, he has not specifically mentioned uranium mining - which would create more BTUs that all other sources of energy currently available for Virginia.

Storage of Radioactive Materials - Submitted by Peyton - 7/26/2012 10:36:29 PM
Comments/Questions: Has the UWG looked at the storage of radioactive materials at sites such as Barnwell, SC or Yucca Mountain, NV (one is dry, the other more like Virginia)? Particularly as to the longterm costs of securing the dump sites from natural and human activities? Did you consider getting some of the scientists from Savannah River Ecology Lab, Aiken, SC, who have studied radionuclide release into the environment to advise you on the effects of nuclear wastes in the environment? If no, why not?
Uranium Working Group Response: All of the items about which you inquire are being reviewed by the Working Group.

Water Quality and Uranium Mining - Submitted by Peyton - 7/26/2012 2:48:20 PM
Comments/Questions: Since DEQ has been involved recently in establishing the Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) for a number of substances for estuaries of the Chesapeake Bay, has any of the modeling to date included what the affect would be of uranium mining in the watershed? If not, why? Do not tell me that Coles Hill is the only economically viable site for uranium mining in Virginia. There is at least one "hotter" spot in Orange County, VA and other areas where exploration has not been allowed (in the case of the Orange County site). If the ban is lifted on one site, it is lifted for all sites. The Governor has done the State a great disservice by requiring the UWG to create "a draft statutory and conceptual regulatory framework," without providing a recommendation of whether uranium mining in Virginia is a good idea. Seems, he has put the "cart before the horse," or already decided that he should work to remove the ban.
Uranium Working Group Response: Water Quality standards will be addressed at the August 28, 2012 meeting in Virginia Beach.

Re: Virginia Uranium - Submitted by David - 7/23/2012 5:08:05 PM
Comments/Questions: I support the lifting of Virginia's moratorium on the mining and milling of uranium ore. In addition to being a great state for business, Virginia is blessed with many natural resources that truly make us the energy capitol of America! From the coalfields of Southwest Virginia to the oil in our coastline, the Commonwealth of Virginia leads the nation in its energy portfolio. However, Virginia also is blessed with another natural resource which can diversify our energy portfolio and assist us in our quest to be energy independent. That untapped resource is uranium! The uranium deposit located in Chatham, Virginia is the largest known uranium deposit in the United States and the 7th largest in the world. It has the ability to produce millions of kilowatts of power and help reduce America’s dependence on foreign sources of energy. However, in order to benefit from this untapped resource, Virginia must lift the moratorium that is currently in place on the mining and milling of uranium ore. Nations all across the globe, including Canada have safely mined uranium ore for decades. It is proven that the process can be done safely and with minimal site disturbance. The economic benefits of allowing uranium mining in Chatham would be unprecedented. In addition to reducing unemployment in the region, the development of the Coles Hill project will create hundreds of good paying jobs, generate millions of dollars in local tax revenue and create long-term employment opportunities for the residents of the region. An economically vibrant Southside will allow more tax revenue to stay in the region and lessen their reliance on counties in Northern Virginia, which have long been considered “donor counties.” This, in turn, will allow more money to stay in Northern Virginia and be spent by our localities on transportation and education. I support the lifting of the moratorium on uranium mining. Doing so will help guarantee the long-term economic and energy security of Virginia.

RE: Uranium Mining Moratorium - Submitted by Paul - 7/23/2012 4:26:49 PM
Comments/Questions: As a small business owner in the Fairfax area I am writing to express my support for lifting the ban on uranium mining in Virginia. I for one support protecting our environment, but from what I have read the process being proposed is safe. We cannot continue to rely heavily on foreign sources of energy. I am a bit perplexed that hte U.S. imports 92% of its uranium energy and yet we are sitting on a huge energy source in Virginia, but we cannot mine it. I have to ask why do our tax dollars have to continuosly be used to import energy when we are sitting on a supply that could last us 30-35 years and help us move towards energy independence. This is a term we hear over and over, but it appears to be only rhetoric. If I ran my business this way I'd be out of business. I would urge the Governor to lift the ban and move forward with an opportunity to create jobs, provide us a path to energy independence and get us away from relying on unstable countries for our energy. Uranium mining has proved it can be done safely and I for one urge the Governor and legislature to move ahead so we can create opportunities for Virginia workers and businesses.

safety of radioactive waste - Submitted by Mary D. - 7/19/2012 10:46:09 AM
Comments/Questions: At the Virginia Beach June forum, Paul Locke, the chair of the NAS study, as well as other committee members said that "we don't know about storage (of radioactive waste) after 25 years. Dr. Locke repeated in response to questions, "We don't know long term about contamination." How does Virginia expect to overcome these "unknowns" if the ban is lifted? Who will be financially responsible if the company goes bankrupt and the bond does not cover the cost of the clean up? Anyone who knows the history of mining in the US knows that this is a frequent problem, particularly those living near uranium ming sites out west.
Uranium Working Group Response: These issues are being studied by the Working Group and will be presented during the November public meeting.

August 2 meeting - Submitted by bret - 7/17/2012 12:01:27 PM
Comments/Questions: Is the NRC in the meeting August 2, 2012 - 6 pm (joint meeting with NRC) Old Dominion Agricultural Complex 19783 US Highway 29, Suite G Chatham, VA 24531 The US Nuclear Regulatory Commission or the National Research Council?
Uranium Working Group Response: US Nuclear Regulatory Commission

Can you post the topics of the meetings? - Submitted by A. - 7/13/2012 3:11:26 PM
Comments/Questions: Thank you for updating the information on your homepage with details for the upcoming meetings. In addition, it would be great if you could list the themes of the upcoming meetings. As I understand it, each meeting will cover a different topic related to uranium in Virginia. It would be great to know the topics ahead of time so that people can formulate relevant questions. Thank you.

When will your next UWG meeting be? - Submitted by Charlie - 7/11/2012 2:26:04 PM
Comments/Questions: I was curious as to specific times and the location of upcoming UWG meetings. There is nothing on the homepage for meetings in August, September, October, etc. I understand that the next UWG is in less than a month, however. Please update your schedule on the homepage.
Uranium Working Group Response: August 2, 2012 - 6 pm (joint meeting with NRC) Old Dominion Agricultural Complex 19783 US Highway 29, Suite G Chatham, VA 24531 August 28, 2012 - 6 pm Virginia Beach Convention Center 1000 19th Street Virginia Beach, VA 23451 October 17, 2012 - 6 pm Old Dominion Agricultural Complex 19783 US Highway 29, Suite G Chatham, VA 24531

When and Where will the next public meetings be? - Submitted by A. - 7/11/2012 2:21:58 PM
Comments/Questions: I have heard that the next meeting of the Uranium Working Group is on August 2nd in Danville, yet there is still not a location or time posted for the event. As this meeting is less than a month away, can you please finalize these details and post them on the main page of your website ASAP so that I can make plans to attend? Similarly, I would like to know specifics for the Virginia Beach meeting. Thank you.
Uranium Working Group Response: August 2, 2012 - 6 pm (joint meeting with NRC) Old Dominion Agricultural Complex 19783 US Highway 29, Suite G Chatham, VA 24531 August 28, 2012 - 6 pm Virginia Beach Convention Center 1000 19th Street Virginia Beach, VA 23451

Summary Release - Submitted by Deborah - 7/10/2012 5:29:36 PM
Comments/Questions: In reveiwing comments you said: "An Executive Summary of their initial report has been posted and the full report will be posted in early July". When will this be posted?
Uranium Working Group Response: It has been posted to the Study Links and Documents section of the website.

Studies - Submitted by Deborah - 7/7/2012 8:11:23 PM
Comments/Questions: Again, a lot of the people and even the certain VA leaders are saying the ones who want to keep the uranium mining ban are self taught or do not want to do studies but a lot of people have been brought to Virginia to give us information about uranium mining: 1. Virginia Beach: Virginia Beach Uranium Mining Impact Study: http://www.vbgov.com/government/departments/public-utilities/pages/uranium-mining.aspx 2. Dr. Doug Brugge,PhD, MS has a PhD in cellular and developmental biology from Harvard University. a public health expert at Tufts University School of Medicine: Meeting: Dr. Brugge spoke at a public presentation in Chatham on the evening of Saturday, Nov. 8, 2008 regarding studies, including his own, on the effects of uranium mining and milling on human health. That morning, he spoke at an invitational event in Danville to a group of community leaders and officials. His appearances were sponsored by the Dan River Basin Association. More information on those events can be found here: http://www.uranium2008.blogspot.com/ 3. Uranium Mining Symposium - Virginia Conservation Network Uranium Mining Symposium. Videos and presentations from our symposium featuring global experts ... Richmond, VA 23219: A. Dr. Gordon Edwards, President of the Canadian Coalition for Nuclear Responsibility (CCNR) B: Paul Robinson, leader of the US Southwest Research and Information Center c: Dr. Rianne Teul, Greenpeace scientist, radiation expert d: Dr. Douglas Brugge, PhD, MS has a PhD in cellular and developmental biology from Harvard University e: Professor Manuel Pino, of Sociology at Scottsdale Community College vcnva.org/.../1,370,0,0,html/Uranium-Mining-Symposium http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jOh_1kNfnfY 4: Documentary: Potential Uranium Deposit in Orange County Virginia: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=RyfryAABLgk Part II: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q6LOx1FiFpE&feature=channel&list=UL 5: Bob Moran Report: •Moran Report: Site-Specific Assessment of the Proposed Uranium Mining and milling Project at Coles Hill (pdf, Proposed Uranium Project: Degradation of Water Quality and Increased Water Competition, Report Finds: http://roanokeriverbasin.blogspot.com/2011/11/press-release-november-17-2011.html 6. Meeting: Uranium Mining and Our Water a: Dr. Robert Moran has more than thirty-nine years of domestic and international experience in conducting and managing water quality b: William “Paul” Robinson, a native of Harrisonburg, VA, is employed as Research Director at Southwest Research and Information Center in Albuquerque, New Mexico, http://lifeincva.blogspot.com/2011/10/meeting-uranium-mining-and-our-water.html 7: Free Workshop Uranium Mining & Milling in Your Community: Sarah Fields, Uranium Watch, http://prideva.blogspot.com/2012/04/free-workshops-uranium-mining-milling.html 8: Historic and potential flooding at proposed uranium mine and mill site: http://www.bredl.org/pdf3/BREDL_Report-Historic_and_potential_flooding_in_ColesHillVirginia.pdf 9: Preservation Virginia: Ann Rogers, community organizer for the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League (BREDL), said she wrote the nomination letter for the area and the organization submitted it to Preservation Virginia. PRIDE is a chapter of BREDL, which is based in Glendale Springs, N.C. “The area is just exceptional for the number of historic properties and absence of more recent development,” Rogers said of the Whitehorn-Banister area. BREDL was honored to have the nomination accepted by Preservation Virginia, Rogers said. http://prideva.blogspot.com/search?q=Preservation+Virginia We attend meetings hosted by NAS, RTI, •Chmura, Uranium Sub Com, most River Basins Meetings, all kind of workshops, etc The people that want to keep the ban on uranium mining are educating ourselves on all levels of the uranium mining problems, most of the time at our cost. We love Virginia, our homes, our children, our God, we just want to have a good world to live in and uranium mining and milling is not good for human or animal life! Keep the Ban! Sites to study: http://www.ccamu.ca/dr-edwards-bio.htm http://vcnva.org/anx/index.cfm/1,370,0,0,html/Uranium-Mining-Symposium Roanoke River Basin Association: http://prod.rrba.org/ Piedmont Residents in Defense of the Environment http://prideva.blogspot.com/ URANIUM WATCH http://uraniumwatch.org/ Virginia Against Uranium Mining http://virginiaagainsturanium.blogspot.com/

WY's Uranium Going to Canada - Submitted by Deborah - 7/7/2012 5:47:57 PM
Comments/Questions: OKAY, all the pro uranium mining people say the following: Reliance on foreign uranium poses serious risks: http://www.virginiaenergy.org/2011/08/19/reliance-on-foreign-uranium-poses-serious-risks/ America is too dependent on foreign uranium: http://www.cleanenergyinsight.org/energy-insights/america-is-too-dependent-on-foreign-uranium/ However, an accident in Canada has revealed an Canadian/Russia uranium mining company is mining uranium in Wyoming but shipping yellowcake to Canada to be processed into nuclear fuel or something else. Listed below are the links to Wyoming's uranium shipping to Canada, the links about the Russian own uranium company: NRC: Uranium One agrees to take steps after 3 workers exposed to Wyo. yellowcake in Canada http://www.greenfieldreporter.com/view/story/b1bcc5389ca24fe7954ad134bdabebac/WY--Uranium-One-Yellowcake NRC approves uranium license transfer in Wyoming - BusinessWeek - Two uranium mines in Wyoming are on their way to control by a Russian company now that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission has approved transferring the ... www.businessweek.com/ap/financialnews/D9JR60280.htm So the wild stories that uranium mining must happen in Virginia for national security problems or we are so called "America is too dependent on foreign uranium" but the truth is the NRC is allowing WY to ship uranium to Canada to be sold to the highest bidder!! Keep the Uranium Mining Ban in Virginia, the pro uranium mining bunch will say anything to get money in their pocket! Deborah Dix

Canada - Why are in VA? - Submitted by Deborah - 6/30/2012 10:19:19 PM
Comments/Questions: I have been reading that Canadian govt has prove uranium mining is safe and everyone loves to mine in Canada, no one complains, my next question, why is Canada blowing up our country for minerals, listd below are facts the problems with uranium mining all over the world: History of Canada, the laws written by the Canadian govt well it is for the Queen of England Canadians May Not Hold Mineral Rights In most cases, mineral rights may be purchased or leased from the Crown. If the Crown holds mineral rights to your real estate, a prospector may stake a claim on these rights. Prospectors have an obligation to negotiate an agreement with the surface rights owner who may set some of the terms and negotiate the amount of royalty, but does not have the right to refuse permission for oil or mineral exploration and extraction. http://realtytimes.com/rtpages/20060307_mineralrights.htm Now Facts about the problems of Uranium Mining Canadian doctors renew threat to resign over uranium Canadian doctors renew threat to resign over uranium ... ahead, I will eventually leave ... didn't want to have uranium mining project in their town .. www.minesandcommunities.org/article.php?a=10015 Uranium mine stoush threatens Alice doctors - ABC News ... ... if the Government allows a Canadian company to open a uranium mine close by. The doctors say ... Indigenous community but the mining ... them they would consider leaving town if a ... www.abc.net.au/.../uranium-mine-stoush...doctors/1153436 The Yellowcake Trail - Uranium Mining In Canada The Doctor Is In; Fitness; The Green Home ... the largest publicly traded uranium mining company – CAMECO (Canadian ... on the exploration and mining of uranium. LEAVING NO STONE ... www.ourbigearth.com/...the...uranium-mining-in-canada-part-1 - Deb Dix - Keep the Ban

Mother Nature and Regulations - Submitted by Deborah - 6/30/2012 4:08:12 PM
Comments/Questions: I think the state of Virginia believes they can write regulations to protect us from uranium mining, maybe the uranium working group need to read the following quote: "NASA climate scientist Josh Willis agreed, adding that such efforts "are sort of a case of human nature trying to outwit Mother Nature, and Mother Nature usually wins that battle of wits." http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2012/06/120625-sea-level-rise-east-coast-us-science-nature-climate-change/ Again, Keep the Ban Deb Dix

Citizen's Groups - Submitted by Deborah - 6/27/2012 2:56:21 PM
Comments/Questions: Are you goming to propare a calendar of site visits to Coles Hills? Will you provide access to the site visits with citizen's groups? Deborah Dix
Uranium Working Group Response: Coles Hill is private property for which we have to request permission to enter for any purpose. Any other group wishing to visit should request permission from them as well.

NAS Studies - Submitted by Deborah - 6/27/2012 2:54:54 PM
Comments/Questions: Please provide links to and people names who are going to study all the former studies of uranium mining.
Uranium Working Group Response: The Uranium Working Group and its consultants, Wright Environmental Services, will review all of the former studies.

Monies - Submitted by Deborah - 6/27/2012 2:51:54 PM
Comments/Questions: Again where is the monies coming from to give $1 million to Wright, you did not answer my question, what state funds, 3 request? Deborah Dix Wright - Submitted by Deborah Comments/Questions: Again, a simple answer, where did the $500,000 to pay Wright group for the pro uranium mining study? Again, a simple answer, who else bid on the contract, I want this info on the Virginia Working Group page, just the names of the bidders Thanks, Deborah Dix Uranium Working Group Response: State funds are being used to pay the consultants who will be assisting agency staff in conducting the study. The other bidders included: Southwest Research Institute Marshall Miller & Associates Southeast Rural Community Assistance Project Trinitek Services
Uranium Working Group Response: Funds to support the work of the Uranium Working Group will come as much as possible from existing agency budgets and to the extent additional funds are needed, they will come from the Governor's contingency fund. The other teams that bid on RFPs included: Southwest Research, Trinitek Services, Center Nuclear Waste Regulatory Analyses Geosciences, Marshall Miller & Assoc, and the Southwest Rural Community Assistance Project. All of their responses are posted on this site.

Problems with Uranium Mining - Submitted by Deborah - 6/22/2012 10:27:36 PM
Comments/Questions: 6/22/12 Uranium mining will never be safe, all radon gas is dangerous, no safe levels, so not all radon gas can be removed from mines, plus gamma rays are in the mines all the time, causes cancer. Please review the following video produced by the BBC Network: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xo0vsoO6fSo Notice the uranium miners are not wearing mask, note the miner is linking his lips with uranium mud on his lips, do you think digested uranium will be good for the workers of course the mining company says, it will not hurt ya, Modern uranium mining in AZ, who in the heck want this nasty, cancer causing industry in VA? Do we want our children be grow up to be miners? Heck no, keep the ban! Deb Dix Films about problems of Uranium Mining The uranium industry in Australia A Hard Rain: A doc­u­men­tary about the dan­gers of Ura­ni­um Min­ing in Aus­tralia http://www.myspace.com/video/vid/8452394#pm_cmp=vid_OEV_P_P http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YxcKyv187pk All That Glitters Is Not Gold http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=23JOQbiAUM8 Uranium mining f northern Niger in West Africa http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ioRtzOWm07A&feature=related Trailer english version YELLOW CAKE The dirt behind uranium http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KojPUrmeng4&feature=related Watch Our Short Film "YELLOWCAKE" http://www.downtheyellowcakeroad.org/

governor's contingency fund - Submitted by Deborah - 6/21/2012 12:32:09 PM
Comments/Questions: Again, where can I found the governor's contingency fund on the Uranium Working Group to see all expenses - 3rd requested, 6/21/12 12:31 pm Info from newspaper: "Maureen Matsen, Gov. Bob McDonnell's energy adviser, said the money would come from the governor's contingency fund

UWG makeup - Submitted by Al - 6/21/2012 7:25:40 AM
Comments/Questions: I'm interested in learning the composition of this group. Who its members are, their regulatory and technical backgrounds, areas of expertise, et. I'm particularly interested in identifying those providing legal and regulatory advice and guidance. Thank you in advance. Al Carr
Uranium Working Group Response: The working group is composed of staff from the Departments of Environmental Quality (DEQ), Health (VDH), and Mines, Minerals and Energy (DMME). Participants will vary depending on the regulatory area implicated by a particular issue (e.g. water quality concerns would be examined by the staff of the agencies responsible for water quality regulation). The working group will be supported by consultants, engaged through a formal procurement process, who have expertise in the regulation and monitoring of uranium mining and milling specifically. The biographies and experience of those consultants can be found in their contracts which are located in the Documents section of the website. One person at each of the three agencies will coordinate the work of their colleagues in completing the mission of the UWG: Rick Weeks (DEQ), Maureen Dempsey (VDH), and Cathie France (DMME).

link for wright contract - Submitted by Suzanne - 6/20/2012 3:27:08 PM
Comments/Questions: the link for the health department contract is not working.
Uranium Working Group Response: It has been fixed. Thank you for bringing to our attention.

keep the ban - Submitted by cabell - 6/20/2012 1:42:46 PM
Comments/Questions: i sure hope youall can keep the ban on the uranium mining.

keep the ban - Submitted by cabell - 6/20/2012 1:42:16 PM
Comments/Questions: i sure hope youall can keep the ban on the uranium mining.

CopyRighted - Submitted by Deborah - 6/19/2012 1:51:24 PM
Comments/Questions: I notice at the bottom of the page, our comments and the UWG is copyrighted. © 2012 Virginia Department of Mines Minerals and Energy Can you explained to the public what this means. Thanks, Deborah Dix
Uranium Working Group Response: The website is copyrighted so no one else can use the name and DMME holds the copyright.

Openness - Submitted by Deborah - 6/19/2012 1:48:04 PM
Comments/Questions: 6/19/2012 Ms. France, Thanks so much for your prompt mail and thanks for coming to Southside. I was the one that spoke first about the procedures of openness of the NAS which should be a guideline for the UWG. I know how the state of Virginia take bids, all companies follow the same procedure but even the Uranium Sub put the info on their website when they took bids for the economic study, we were not refer to another site. I was the one who to offer to help you but the help I offer is with more openness and procedures for the openness of UWG I do not want updates on what you are doing at meetings, I want to know UWG plans, dates of the procedure or plans, so we can be involved in the plans. I want to know about the visits before hand to Coles Hills, I want someone to observe the work between UWG and Virginia Uranium Inc. I want a calendar of all the visits to Coles Hill, I want someone besides inside industry present at everything you do at Coles Hill, it is not fair or open that the public is not included in the procedures of the working group, when I say public, I mean locals or we get to chose our experts in the fields of mining. So this is what I am asking for now: 1. Calendar of visits to Coles Hill and contacting someone about the visits 2. The Website: daily updates, a calendar of the procedure, visits to Coles Hill 3. Press Releases of important decisions, like hiring Wright's Group, the procedure of the bids are not open to the public 4. Future Bids needs to be discuss before decisions are made, I know the Uranium SubCom had meetings with the public but the decision was closed. 5. Emails, answer within 48 hours, if the UWG cannot answer, tell us in an email and forward to person who can answer I can discuss the above with the different groups in our area to have several contact people so the openness of the UWG is a true fact. Listed below are great examples of openness with the public and websites: The NRC and EPA, City of Danville, just a few for now. Again the NAS, the NRC answer my questions with 48 hours. Thanks, Deborah Dix

Comments - Submitted by Robert - 6/19/2012 11:38:16 AM
Comments/Questions: Attached is a letter sent to Governor McDonnell earlier this month. A copy of an earlier letter to Deputy Secretary Matsen and Deputy Director France is incorporated in that letter and is also attached. June 8, 2012 The Honorable Robert McDonnell Office of the Governor Patrick Henry Building, 3rd Floor 1111 East Broad Street Richmond, Virginia 23219 Re: Uranium Working Group Dear Governor McDonnell, We are writing you directly in hope that you will address some of the issues we have identified with the current activities and structure of the Uranium Working Group (UWG), as well as your recent characterization of the conservation communities’ related concerns. We have attached our original letter and offer a few additional concerns in hope that you and your administration can specifically address them with a written response. We have yet to receive an appropriate or timely response from Deputy Director France or Deputy Secretary Matsen to our letter dated February 29th of this year. We appreciated the opportunity to meet with your staff in April. But a one-hour meeting, largely consumed by a prepared presentation, did not leave adequate time to discuss even a small portion of the concerns and questions we had raised in our letter. Adjustments made to the UWG that followed this meeting were viewed as minor and failed to address the fundamental concerns related to the abbreviated timeline, transparency and agency experience/culture. As well, we had questions and suggestions with regard to the use of consultants, issues of bias, stakeholder involvement and specific tasks. We had sincerely hoped that we would have had a formal response by this time, some 3-1/2 months later. Additional issues have surfaced since our meeting in April. Most significant is the lack of follow through on many of the promises that were made at that meeting, specifically: • Timely updates to the UWG website. From what we can tell, only the response to the Request For Proposal has been posted since late March and this was done recently. That RFP was dated April 3rd. • Inclusion of all information submitted to the UWG (including the attached letter) • Updated FAQ page to address significant issues as they are raised. • A more transparent process for the UWG. We have also had our first look at the consultants that have been retained to do much of the technical work of the UWG at a cost to the Commonwealth of $513,133 . Wright Environmental Services, Inc. is a two-year old company. It has a very short track record, and all of its references on its Data Sheet, supplied with the Response to the Request for Proposal, are from the uranium industry. The concern is multiplied when one looks at the backgrounds of some of the individuals who will be responsible for the product. Our research indicates members of Wright Environmental Services Inc. team have readily apparent conflicts of interest that include: • Membership on Uranium Energy Corp. Advisory Board • Outspoken advocate for uranium mining activities . • Past employment as the Environmental Manager for Uranium One While some of these conflicts do not necessarily represent an absolute bias, members of the firm are not nearly as independent as the experts selected for the NAS panel. To have an unbiased report reviewed or developed by a group with an apparent pre-disposition does not inspire confidence. Our last concern is perhaps the most troubling. On WTOP’s Ask the Governor segment, you indicated that environmental groups that are complaining they don't have a seat at the table are "wrong”. This was followed by a statement that we can give your administration feedback 24 hours a day. The statement about a seat at the table raises many questions. Is this an invitation for members of our community to be formal part of the Uranium Working Group? Does this mean the meetings of the UWG will be open to the public? Will the UWG have an advisory board consisting of interested parties? To reiterate: we have had no specific feedback to the concerns we expressed in our letter of February 29. Thus far, we have submitted questions and comments and received silence as an answer. None of the comments we have provided can be found as a part of the record for the UWG. You are correct that we can give feedback. But it appears that it is going into a “black hole” rather than receiving the attention it deserves. If we are to have any trust in the process that is before us, we need proof that we are being heard and that our legitimate and reasonable concerns are being addressed. We are willing to study additional issues raised by NAS - but in a manner consistent with openness and transparency as recommended by the Academy - the start of the UWG fails to meet that standard. We hope that there will be additional clarification on how Uranium Working Group and your administration will address the concerns and suggestions above. We look forward to a prompt response to the concerns referenced here and captured in the original letter (attached) we addressed to Deputy Secretary Matsen and Deputy Director France. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions about the concerns or recommendations we have raised. Sincerely, Daniel R. Holmes Lisa M. Guthrie State Policy Director Executive Director Piedmont Environmental Council Virginia League of Conservation Voters PO Box 460 530 E. Main Street; Suite 410 Warrenton, VA 20188 Richmond, VA 23219 Cc: The Honorable Maureen Matsen Deputy Secretary of Natural Resources Office of the Secretary of Natural Resources Patrick Henry Building 1111 East Broad Street Richmond, VA 23219 P.O. Box 1475 Richmond, VA 23218 Cathie France Deputy Director for Energy Policy Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy Washington Building, 8th Floor 1100 Bank Street Richmond, VA 23219 Attachment: February 29, 2012 Letter ATTACHMENT TO JUNE 8, 2012 LETTER TO GOVERNOR MCDONNELL February 29, 2012 The Honorable Maureen Matsen Deputy Secretary of Natural Resources Office of the Secretary of Natural Resources Patrick Henry Building 1111 East Broad Street Richmond, VA 23219 P.O. Box 1475 Richmond, VA 23218 Cathie France Deputy Director for Energy Policy Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy Washington Building, 8th Floor 1100 Bank Street Richmond, VA 23219 Re: Uranium Working Group Dear Deputy Secretary Matsen and Deputy Director France: In response to the directive issued by Governor McDonnell dated January 19, 2012, we the undersigned would like to share the following observations and recommendations. We wish to voice our concerns about the direction that the Governor’s Uranium Working Group appears to be taking. This action, which accompanied the Governor’s request that the General Assembly refrain from enacting any legislation relating to the ban on uranium mining, has the unfortunate effect of taking the process away from the Commonwealth’s elected representatives and placing it behind closed doors. In particular, we are troubled by the possibility of little public involvement in this critical process and the directive’s lack of information and apparent disregard for much of the information and recommendations on how to proceed contained within the National Academy of Sciences report . While the members of the Academy have been clear in stating the report is “not a cookbook for moving forward”, it is the best guide we have to identify areas where additional information is needed to continue any discussion of lifting or maintaining the moratorium. More importantly, it clearly defines numerous pitfalls we hope the working group will avoid - specifically, abbreviated timeline, undefined and limited public input, and proceeding without adequate agency expertise in this area. The report anticipated the development of a regulatory process taking years to complete and stressed the need for meaningful public input at all stages. It also contained a warning that our regulatory agencies would need to develop a culture that promoted human health and environmental protection and implement a robust regulatory and legal infrastructure. The Governor’s directive takes some notice of the Academy report. Yet it seems to be guided by a timeline that could result in a rushed product which could appear to be designed to achieve Virginia Uranium Inc.’s (VUI) goal of a bill in the 2013 session for the General Assembly. Furthermore, if the purpose of the Task Force is for development of a regulatory framework that would have statewide application then there is no reason why there should be a Cole’s Hill specific component. The study should simply lay out what kinds of baseline, ongoing and post closure studies are to be required regardless of location. Broader analysis of the hydrogeology of the regions of the state where uranium concentrations have been identified is appropriate and will have benefits in other ways. This is not to suggest that site-specific studies should not be considered by the working group. However, the Commonwealth should not expend any resources on conducting those studies. We have additional concerns with the cost of this exercise and potential conflicts with members or resources considered by the working group. Those concerns are as follows: 1. Interested stakeholders may have already gathered information or have expertise in areas identified within the directive. These parties could provide the Commonwealth with supporting information and significant savings for the task at hand. Yet capturing this opportunity does not appear to be specifically included in the directive. We would recommend the formation of a parallel outside advisory group with representatives from affected communities--both close and downstream, environmental interests, economic interests, tourism, outdoor recreation, industry representatives, etc. This advisory group could be tasked with assisting the Uranium Working Group, providing expertise and knowledge in various areas that are needed to support the effort. The advisory group should provide regular briefings to the working group. 2. It is unclear at this time how the Commonwealth intends to fund the directive. We note that a Request for Proposal will be issued by the Commonwealth this week. We are concerned that funds for this study not be taken from the already stretched budgets at the agencies involved in this task force. Nor should the cost of the Cole’s Hill studies should be borne by the Commonwealth. If the directive is to include site-specific studies, the cost of those studies should be the responsibility of those that stand to profit from any discussion of lifting the moratorium. 3. It is common knowledge that the Geosciences Department of Virginia Tech has been actively involved in the uranium mining issue. Freedom of Information responses divulge that VUI has paid over one million dollars to Virginia Tech or to pay the salary of Virginia Tech employees. Should the Uranium Working Group rely upon Virginia Tech for unbiased advice during its deliberations? These contributions would have the potential to undermine the integrity of the process if they are accepted as unbiased or granted more weight than that of information provided by other interested parties. In moving forward we ask for: 1. No program for permitting uranium mining and milling in Virginia should be considered until the industry has definitively established that it can be done safely. This is consistent with Governor McDonnell’s frequently stated commitment that the safety of the people and environment is of paramount concern. 2. A process that is better defined with regard to public participation and the acceptance of information from interested parties with expertise. 3. A wise use of limited funds - We should limit the use of public money to broader studies that will help understand the impacts on natural resources and communities of the Commonwealth. Site specific studies should be the responsibility of the mining interests of the site in question. Otherwise we are conducting studies on behalf of the interests in question, studies that would be required in any application or permit for the mining, milling and storage of the waste. 4. Recognition of the drain on agency funding and staffing resources - In addition to any funding that would come from agencies’ existing budgets; we are also concerned with costs associated with diverting staff resources. In calculating the costs of meeting this directive, there needs to be recognition of the staffing and unaccounted costs - other agency work that will suffer for this change in direction without additional staff to accommodate the workload of staff resources that are diverted for pursuing this exercise. 5. An avoidance of any apparent conflicts of interest with identified potential sources of information and research (Virginia Tech). The Uranium Working Group should be extremely cautious in relying upon advice from groups on either side of the debate, and should seek unbiased experts for technical advice. We hope that there will be additional clarification on how the administration and you, as those in charge with the directive’s implementation, will address the identified concerns and suggestions above. We look forward to participating in the process and please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions about the concerns or recommendations we have raised. Sincerely, Daniel R. Holmes Lisa M. Guthrie State Policy Director Executive Director Piedmont Environmental Council Virginia League of Conservation Voters PO Box 460 530 E. Main Street; Suite 410 Warrenton, VA 20188 Richmond, VA 23219 Glen Besa, Director Sierra Club-Virginia Chapter 422 E. Franklin St, Suite 302 Richmond, VA 23219 CC: Governor Bob McDonnell Karen Remley, State Health Commissioner Conrad T. Spangler, III, Director, Dept. Mines, Minerals and Energy David K. Paylor, Director, Va. Dept. of Environmental Quality
Uranium Working Group Response: Copy of response sent by Deputy Secretary Matsen: Dear Mr. Holmes and Ms. Guthrie: Thank you so much for your letter of June 8, 2012. We appreciate your continued interest in the work of the Uranium Working Group. As you will recall, our April face to face meeting with you and other stake holders was held in direct response to your February 29 letter, and the information provided there was intended to respond to the concerns you identified. By providing information in response to your concerns, and an opportunity to ask follow up questions, it was our intention to provide a more fulsome response to your letter than a return letter would have. Until receiving your June letter, we did not know that you did consider that meeting and the information provided there to be an adequate response. We have shared with you the details of our work plan, our written process for sharing information and providing opportunities for public input, and our confidence in the expertise gathered and available to accomplish the tasks set out by the Governor in his January 19, 2012 letter. All of that information, and much more, is also available on the Working Group’s web site at www.uwg.vi.virginia.gov. These materials address the issues you identify related to the timeline, transparency of the effort and the experience available at the agencies charged with this work. Dozens of agency staff and a large group of highly qualified consultants are performing a comprehensive and detailed investigation and analysis of the facts and the science related to issues of human health, worker safety and environmental protection raised by the possibility of uranium mining in Virginia. The effort is aimed at answering the many questions left unanswered by previous studies. It is an objective effort, with no preconception about whether or not uranium mining activities can be conducted safely. It is not aimed at reaching a conclusion or making a recommendation about whether or not the current prohibition of uranium mining in Virginia should be lifted, but to facilitate a fully informed decision by the General Assembly, when that question comes before them. Because the Working Group is charged only with gathering and analyzing information, we are confident that the level of public engagement and input from interested parties provided for by our process strikes the right balance. We cannot allow the work of the group to be deterred by those who have already made up their mind and who do not believe more information about the potential impact proposed uranium mining might have on the Commonwealth is needed. In response to your concerns about the web site, as we have discussed publicly, we have confronted difficulties with the timely posting and updates to the Working Group’s web site as a consequence of an unrelated change in vendor providing those services. We believe we have overcome that challenge, and continue to examine the contents and the input we receive to make certain that all available information is posted there. Included in that information are the detailed resumes of the many experts from all related fields who will participate in the work of Wright Environmental Services. We are pleased with the depth and scope of the education, knowledge and experience they bring to the table. In addition to experts with previous actual experience with uranium mining and milling operations from the industry side, they also provide experts with experience as federal and state regulators of uranium mining and milling, regulators of public health and worker safety, as well as experts from academia. Together we are confident that our consultants will provide the services requested in a professional and objective manner. While we appreciate your concern, it would be an incomplete study that did not include experts with actual experience with the activities and in the industry that is the subject of the analysis. I trust you were able to attend the Working Group’s meeting in Chatham on June 18 to learn about the work that has been accomplished to date, and the gaps in Virginia’s current mining laws and regulations that have been identified should the prohibition of uranium mining be lifted. I look forward to seeing you in Danville on August 2, and Virginia Beach on August 28. In the meantime, while we understand that your organizations are committed to opposing uranium mining in Virginia and, therefore, are not unbiased in their input, if there is specific information about uranium mining, milling, or the protection of public health, worker safety, or the environment that you believe is necessary to our analysis and should be considered by the Uranium Working Group (in addition to the studies already listed at the web site and the materials set out in the regularly updated bibliography), please identify or provide that information to them at your earliest convenience at the website or at the address listed below. Uranium Working Group 1100 Bank Street, 8th floor Richmond, VA 23219 Again, thank you for your continued attention to this important issue. Sincerely, Maureen R. Matsen Deputy Secretary of Natural Resources and Senior Advisor on Energy

Moratorium on mining - Submitted by Pamela - 6/19/2012 8:03:28 AM
Comments/Questions: KEEP THE BAN!!! Virginia's new slogan will be: "Virginia is for greedy, polluting liars" KEEP THE BAN....KEEP THE BAN...KEEP THE BAN!!!

Costs of Waste Containment - Submitted by Anne - 6/19/2012 5:39:51 AM
Comments/Questions: What is the actual cost of safeguarding toxic milling/mining wastes for a year? What is the predicted costs of safeguarding toxic milling/mining waste for 80,000 years? What can be done to insure these costs are not placed on the backs of Virginia or US taxpayers?
Uranium Working Group Response: Thank you for your questions. These topics will be discussed at the October public meeting of the working group.

Uranium Mining - Submitted by Daniel - 6/19/2012 2:13:46 AM
Comments/Questions: Hello. I am currently pursing an engineering degree in the mining and minerals field. I have became very interested in this specific topic over the years and would love to be able to work close to home if this mine is ever developed. One thing that needs to be explained more is how the tailings will be contained. The hysteria is ruining rampant in Pittsylvania County and its surrounding areas and the majority of it is nonsense produced by the opposition to scare the people that have not made up their mind yet. The ones that are against this project will remain against it regardless of what findings are revealed at the end of the study. They are self taught experts on the field and present what he or she have searched on the internet about mining in the mid 1900's during the arms race. They do not want to accept the fact that regulations and technology have increased substantially since then. I think many more people would be in support if a detailed clarification would be made in how the tailings will be contained because this is the issue that has many people that I know on the fence on mining. With that being said, I think this project would be a tremendous asset to the community and state. Thanks

Link to audio or agenda? - Submitted by M. - 6/18/2012 6:36:31 PM
Comments/Questions: I was hoping to catch this meeting online, or at least look at the agenda. Can you provide a link? Thank you much.
Uranium Working Group Response: Simultaneous Web-Cast: https://www.dmme.virginia.gov/livestream.shtml

Major Flash Flooding - Submitted by Annette - 6/18/2012 4:40:59 PM
Comments/Questions: I was witness to the historical flash flooding in Roanoke, VA in 1985 and the entire county was caught off-guard by this weather event. My sister and I were students in high school when a wall of water began swallowing up cars. The Roanoke Times has plenty of photos and news coverage of this flood. Ten years later, I was witness to the significant flash flooding in Madison County, VA -- also another unexpected weather event. I was on my way to visit my grandfather when troopers stopped us to inform us the water had washed out main bridges north of Charlottesville. Knowing that this type of major flash flooding can occur unexpectedly, how can the state of Virginia justify allowing uranium mining and milling within this climate? Such an event in Pittsylvania County would -- at the very least -- put residents, their property and natural resources in harm's way. This is one of those instances where lawmakers absolutely need to consider the what-ifs (instead of asking it in hindsight).

Uranium Mining - Submitted by John - 6/18/2012 4:40:43 PM
Comments/Questions: Dear Sirs, I would just like to indicate that I fully support the development of uranium mining in Virginia. I teach over 500 adult students a year. It would be nice to be able to point to an administration that put its citizens before special interest lobbies. Sincerely, John Steely

Questions Needing Answers - Submitted by Chuck - 6/17/2012 7:11:02 PM
Comments/Questions: I would like to see you address 5 issues which likely will point to keeping the ban on uranium mining. 1. There is no public need for U.S. uranium. We should continue to purchase uranium from the rest of the world in order to prevent it from being sold to other nations or special interest groups. To purchase Virginia uranium and to forego the purchase of foreign uranium may actually create a terrorism threat to the U.S. Reportedly, the US has so much uranium already that it has to build new storage facilities to hold the uranium. So leave U.S. uranium safely in the ground where it is already. 2. Mining’s profit motive conflicts with protecting public safety. Management’s efforts to extract the uranium at the lowest cost to increase profits and maximize investor returns can increase the risk of accidents. This is a business reality that we have seen in coal mining, charter bus operations, deep sea oil drilling and elsewhere each year. Managing at the margin of “acceptable risk” in order to maximize profits increases the likelihood of accidents. Mine operators will not discover the edge of what can be done safely until they have crossed it. 3. Prospect of a major negative economic impact. The uranium mining jobs potential is nothing compared to the potential drop in local agriculture sales and jobs as the uranium “threat” is linked to local agricultural products and sales fall. It is also nothing compared to the potential drop in local real estate values from the uranium “threat” of potential public health issues. (I was in the process of moving my residence and setting up a fulfillment operation for a new business in Pittsylvania County but have postponed that mostly due to the uranium issue. So just in my case a local real estate sale did not happen and 2 to 30 jobs were not created locally.) 4. Public stuck with the risks while investors get the rewards. The investors getting the rewards should be the ones assuming the risks. The risks of mining should be evaluated by experts in risk management. One method would be for a major insurance company to assess the risks and quote the insurance cost for this unusual 50,000 year situation that covers the businesses, people and property in the potential impact areas. If the risks can be insured then the cost should be paid by the uranium mining company. If the risks are not covered and Virginia allows uranium mining without transferring the risk costs back to the investors in some manner, Virginia is essentially providing “free public option” risk coverage where taxpayers and residents have to pay. The business risks need to be quantified and transferred back to the investors that get the business rewards. 5. Cost of a wrong decision, i.e., allowing uranium mining, is so high it just makes no sense. Conceptually, doing something that provides 20 years of benefits (if any benefits at all) that creates a potential 50,000 year problem does not make sense. We would be creating an ecological landmine now for the next 2,000 generations to deal with containing. A radiation leakage will occur; it is just a matter of when it occurs, how many people and how much property is damaged and what it will cost to clean-up. No manmade structure exists that has lasted 50,000 years….the length of time that the uranium mining residue needs to be contained. In summary, the containment of uranium mining risks will not stand the test of time. Likewise, any decision to allow the mining of uranium will also not stand the test of time and will stain the legacy of those involved. There is always hope that technology will come along and solve the problem, but as the US Army says “Hope is a not a method”.
Uranium Working Group Response: We will review these issues and cover them in the public meetings related to the pertinent topics.

construction phase - Submitted by karen - 6/17/2012 6:47:21 PM
Comments/Questions: http://atomicinsights.com/2012/06/virginia-uranium-waiting-patiently-to-create-325-family-wage-jobs-in-southside.html please note link above. VUI geologist indicates U is clost to and even at surface. At present, location of mill is unknown to the public. How will DMME insure safety as construction occurs? Will there be monitoring of radioactive releases (air, water and particulate) during the construction phase? Will these releases be treated as a mining activity?
Uranium Working Group Response: These issues are being reviewed and will be covered in the public meetings related to the pertinent topics.

suggestion re radon risk - Submitted by Katie - 6/17/2012 12:15:41 PM
Comments/Questions: June 17, 2012 suggestion from Katie Whitehead: Please consider the November 10, 2011 report prepared by Sanford Cohen & Associates (SC&A) for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Office of Radiation and Indoor Air: “Risk Assessment Revision for 40 CFR Part 61 Subpart W – Radon Emissions from Operating Mill Tailings” [http://www.epa.gov/rpdweb00/docs/neshaps/subpart-w/historical-rulemakings/subpart-w-risk.pdf] Sanford Cohen & Associates’ risk assessment for radionuclides from uranium facilities is very different from the 1984 SENES “Assessment of Risk from Uranium Mining in Virginia.” SC&A’s estimate of potential exposure to radon decay products at an Eastern generic site is quite high. The NAS Report discusses the SC&A study on pages 123-124 in the section titled “Radon Releases from Uranium Mining and Processing.” What follows is a quotation from the NAS Report: “While radon is ubiquitous in the earth’s crust, it is generally more concentrated in or near uranium mining and processing operations (Kiefer et al., 2011). Communities living near uranium tailing piles may have increased environmental radon levels (ATSDR, 2008). Sources of radon at uranium mining and processing sites include tailings, uranium ore, waste rock, open cuts or underground mines, the processing facility, and water retention ponds (Mudd, 2008). In many cases, tailings represent the predominant source of radon emission (i.e., off-gassing) from a mining site. Radon emanation is heavily influenced by the specific material’s radium activity, moisture content, porosity, and density (Mudd, 2008). The Code of Federal Regulations (10CFR 20.1301) restricts the total effective dose equivalent (TEDE) to individual members of the public from licensed processing facility operations to less than 100 mrem per year. Radon and its decay products are specifically excluded from compliance with the dose criteria outlined in the Code of Federal Regulations (40 CFR 190.10a). However, 40 CFR 61, Subpart B limits the effective dose equivalent from radon decay products to 10 mrem/year for members of the public. [new paragraph] On November 10, 2011, the EPA’s contractor, S. Cohen & Associates (SC&A), provided the EPA with modeled data for radionuclide emissions from processing facility tailings and risk estimates to the population under various scenarios. One of the sample exposure scenario sites selected by SC&A (2011) included a site in Virginia, and SC&A indicated this site was chosen because of the large number of uranium deposits in Virginia. Specifically, Culpeper County, VA was selected as the Eastern Generic sample study site within Virginia, “because of its high population density and its past experience as a uranium mine lease site”. The location was also selected to exclude members of the general population living within 1 km of the site. The model used in the report included the following input data: an estimate of the 2010 population living within 80 kilometers of the Culpeper County, VA site, meteorological data at the site, and an estimate of the amount of radon released on a yearly basis from the site. The maximum estimated radon release rate of 1,750 Curies per year from the White Mesa, Utah, mine and processing facility tailings site was used as a surrogate measure of the maximum release rate for the Culpeper County site. Based on the estimated release rates and the standard modeling performed by the EPA contractor, the reasonably maximally exposed individual (RMEI) (i.e., member of the public within 80 km expected to receive the greatest exposure to radon decay products) was estimated to receive a dose of 28 mrem/year, with a 1.6 per 100,000 chance of developing a latent cancer fatality; while the maximum estimated population’s dose living within 80 kilometers of the site’s was 200 person-rem/year, with a 1.4 per 1,000 chance of developing a latent cancer fatality. [new paragraph] The extent to which the estimated radon release rate assumed by SC&A (2011) for the Culpeper County site would approximate potential radon releases from tailings and waste rock in Virginia is not known. . . . [new paragraph] . . . Accurate radiation exposure estimates specific to the Commonwealth of Virginia that could be used for reliable modeling, as well as risk estimates for off-site populations (i.e., non-mine or non-processing facility workers), would require information (e.g., source data, site characteristics, and operational specifics) that does not currently exist. Clearly, additional site-specific research would be required to develop baseline data and methods to assess the long-term potential for releases of radon and its decay products to the population in the adjacent environment.”
Uranium Working Group Response: We will review these issues and address them in the public meetings related to the pertinent topics.

Uranium - Submitted by Diane - 6/17/2012 7:58:05 AM
Comments/Questions: I am writing today as a supporter of uranium mining for Virginia. Based on todays economic conditions, the studies conclusions respecting safety, the free market demands for uranium and the promises made to the people of Virginia I urge Governor McDonnell to remove the moritorium and act on his word. It is my opinion that environmentalists do not govern. Govenor McDonnell would best serve the people of Virginia by bravely and boldly taking a stand to move forward with Uranium Mining.

ban on uranium mining in va - Submitted by Howard - 6/16/2012 11:02:58 PM
Comments/Questions: The ban should continue on mining uranium in Virginia. Mining will destroy the watershed down stream of the mining operations. Pollution from the mining operations will destroy all wild life in the streams downstream. Radiation from the mines will shorten the lives of works in the mines. Radiactive dust from the mining will destroy the air that we need to subtain a healthy life. Don't allow uranium mining in Virginia.

credability of your governor - Submitted by Mike - 6/16/2012 4:28:29 PM
Comments/Questions: Now that so many republicans have signed on against the mining boondoggle and the governor has been removed from consideration on the Romney VP candidate list, is this issue how McDonnell really wants to have his legacy remembered, polluting the pristine water of the Roanoke?

Liability and permit process - Submitted by mike - 6/16/2012 4:25:19 PM
Comments/Questions: Since One million NC residents and 1 million VA Beach Residents draw their drinking water from the Roanoke, do you really think that the EPA will approve a permit for mining radioactive material in this watershed in a hurricane zone located 90 miles from the epicenter of a 6.1 earthquake last fall? Really??? Will your efforts stand up in court against North Carolina and the City of Virginia Beach? How much will this all cost the taxpayers of VA Beach?

NC representation - Submitted by mike - 6/16/2012 4:21:22 PM
Comments/Questions: While the Coles hill site is in Virginia, the risk of a breach in the containment cells will be bourn by North Carolina. Why is North Carolina not represented in your working group? The two states have a long history of cooperation on issues related to water usage of the Roanoke River, yet no outreach to NC has happened yet. Why?
Uranium Working Group Response: We have been in touch with the North Carolina Governor's office and with some of our agency counterparts. We will continue to consult with them as needed. Thank you for your input.

Water safety - Submitted by Mike - 6/16/2012 4:18:43 PM
Comments/Questions: 1 million people from 7 counties and a number of municipalities in North Carolina Draw their water from the Roanoke River. When a Hurricane or heavy downpour breaches one of the 40 acre containment cells and causes radiation levels to exceed safe levels in the water for up to 2 years and longer, how much money will Virginia and the mining company set aside to pay damages for water replacement, loss of use, loss of property value, healthcare costs, and damage to the fishery in the River, the Pamlico and Albamarle sound?
Uranium Working Group Response: These issues are being reviewed and will be covered in the public meetings related to the pertinent topics.

uranium - Submitted by evelyn - 6/16/2012 7:12:58 AM
Comments/Questions: Virginia is beuatiful its monutians are gorgous, so please do don't mess up our state with mining it. Lets stand out maybe other states will follow.

safe uranium mining - Submitted by Mary Alice - 6/15/2012 6:29:17 PM
Comments/Questions: I support uranium mining in Virginia to create jobs, provide economical energy, and build the state's economy with U.S. and foreign money purchasing the ore. Don't let the obstructionist environmentalists tell you the American people do not want mining or affordable energy. The environmentalists are the VOCAL minority. We, TRUE Americans, want mining to provide jobs, as well as energy on an economical level to our strained pocketbooks.

Virginia Uranium Inc - Submitted by Deborah - 6/15/2012 1:41:41 PM
Comments/Questions: Is the Gov or Virginia Uranium Working Group working for VUI? Your agenda is preparing the State of Virginia for uranium mining The agenda's is not a study, if UWG thinks it is a study, please provide the inform links, people's names who are preparing the study. Will VUI be on stage with you since you are working with the pro uranium groupl like Wright's! Thanks, Deborah Dix

Uranium Mining Studies - Submitted by Deborah - 6/15/2012 1:21:16 PM
Comments/Questions: When are the Uranium Working Group going to discuss all the studies below? The Southside state leaders requested Keep the Ban so the following reports could be discussed but did I miss the dicussions? •Wright Environmental Services Contract (DEQ/DMME) (pdf) •Michael Baker study on Potential Impacts of Uranium Mining to Drinking Water in Virginia •Chmura Economics Report (“Chmura Report”) (pdf) •National Academy of Science Study (“NAS Study”) •RTI Socioeconomic Study commissioned by the Danville Regional Foundation (“RTI Study”) •Virginia Beach (“Virginia Beach Study”) •Moran Report: Site-Specific Assessment of the Proposed Uranium Mining and milling Project at Coles Hill (pdf) •Fairfax Water (“Fairfax Water Study”) Deborah Dix
Uranium Working Group Response: The studies you mention were all reviewed and used to formulate the working group's work plan. Issues raised in those studies will be addressed during the Working Group's work study and findings will be presented at the public meetings previously announced. A thorough analysis of each study was also conducted by Wright Environmental Services. An Executive Summary of their initial report has been posted and the full report will be posted in early July.

Dates - Submitted by Deborah - 6/15/2012 1:17:14 PM
Comments/Questions: Can you add the dates of the questions and comments on the page?

Wright - Submitted by Deborah - 6/15/2012 1:15:06 PM
Comments/Questions: Again, a simple answer, where did the $500,000 to pay Wright group for the pro uranium mining study? Again, a simple answer, who else bid on the contract, I want this info on the Virginia Working Group page, just the names of the bidders Thanks, Deborah Dix
Uranium Working Group Response: State funds are being used to pay the consultants who will be assisting agency staff in conducting the study. The other bidders included: Southwest Research Institute Marshall Miller & Associates Southeast Rural Community Assistance Project Trinitek Services

E-mail list - Submitted by Lisa - 6/15/2012 9:41:32 AM
Comments/Questions: Please add me to your list of recipients for email notices regarding meetings or actions of the Governor's Uranium Working Group. Thank you!

Email notification list - Submitted by Gregory - 6/14/2012 10:37:01 AM
Comments/Questions: Please add me to the email notification list for the activities of the Working Group. Thank you.

Contact List - Submitted by G. - 6/14/2012 9:48:39 AM
Comments/Questions: Please add my email address to your contact list for notifications of meetings, hearings and information related to the Uranium Working Group's project. Thank you.

RFP - Submitted by Barbara - 6/14/2012 6:28:02 AM
Comments/Questions: Where is the Request for Proposals issued by the Working Group? The one that resulted in the hire of the Wright group. I don't see the RFP on your web site.
Uranium Working Group Response: The requests for proposals may be found on the Commonwealth's procurement website, http://www.eva.virginia.gov/. The contract is actually posted in the study links section, but should be moved to the documents section. If it would be helpful, we can also post copies of the requests for proposals in the documents section of this website.

Add me to your email/Question About $500,000 - Submitted by Deborah - 6/13/2012 8:14:04 PM
Comments/Questions: Have you chosen Wright Environmental for the pro uranium mining study? What other bids were taken, please provide name, locations? Where is the monies coming from for payment, location of the monies on VA Web sites?

Questions - Submitted by Tommy - 6/13/2012 6:00:11 PM
Comments/Questions: Tommy Motley 9789 Chalk Level Rd Gretna Va 24557 Many livestock producers have fenced their cattle out of streams and ponds according to and through BMP cost share programs and practices of NRCS and their Soil and Water Districts. Wells and watering systems have been installed. By rule of these programs once the water sources are fenced out the farmer can only allow livestock in the streams and ponds for short term emergency situations such as power outages, or water system failures. If the mining operation causes a well to go dry how will they supply water to their cattle and to whom can they turn if this happens? Will monitoring in the area of the mine include evaluation of water quantity as well as water quality? Will wells within a certain radius of the mine be monitored before work begins to establish a baseline of water quality and water quantity? Most farmers and livestock producers consider their land and livestock to be a critical part of their retirement portfolio. If a farmer is in close proximity to the mining operation and the value of his land and livestock is therefore significantly diminished, how would he be compensated, who would pay the compensation, and what will the procedure be? Farm family income is largely dependent on the sale of crops and livestock. If a farmer is not able to sell his product because of the farm’s proximity to the mining operation, would he be compensated and if so how will that work and who would pay the compensation? What if the buyer of the commodities sets standards that are more stringent than government regulatory standards for farm commodities causing the farmer to not be able to sell their product due to market demands rather than government regulation? How will the farmer be made whole? Most mining operations of this nature involve the use of explosives. Will the noise level of the mining operation be monitored, what standards will be used, and who is responsible for monitoring? If landowners and neighbors near the mining operation experience well damage due to the use of explosives who will be held responsible and what measures will be in place to correct the damage? If the studies are correct, this operation will employ several hundred workers during its lifetime and involve much different traffic than is currently in this area. Will new highways and bridges be constructed to handle the additional traffic from labor and operation of the mine which could involve heavy trucks? If increased traffic to and from the mining operation affects the ability of local farmers to safely move from farm to farm and move equipment when needed, how will this be addressed? Will there be advocacy for those who might be negatively impacted by the mining operation so that an individual or small group of individuals will not have to take on the large corporation owning the mining operation on their own? It can be very difficult and costly for individuals to pursue recourse for damages incurred by large corporations. Will there be plans to help with this? What will Virginia’s plan be for monitoring the area surrounding the mine for at least a 4 miles radius? Will a baseline of the agricultural products produced and marketed in a 4 mile radius of the mine be developed before mining operations begin? If the establishment of a baseline is not planned, why not? With milk and other farm commodities being very sensitive as part of our nation’s diet and food supply, how will crops and farm commodities be monitored in the area in close proximity to the mining operation? If education of the citizens in a particular area is a key to the success of such and operation as one of the studies indicated, how is that education accomplished and who is responsible for its cost? Why might we be willing to risk the welfare of the region’s and state’s largest economic driver (agriculture) for this type of project? Will Ag industry be monitored within 5 km radius, as per best practice standards? If so what process will be used to do that? Who is responsible for proving that the mine increased the radioactive levels in a radius of the mine? Where will tailings piles be while mining is going on? If there are funds set up for dealing with losses due to the mining operation, will any of those funds be designated for downstream communities? If the mining operation becomes defunct and ceases operation, who is responsible for maintaining the tailings storage and how will that be monitored?
Uranium Working Group Response: Thank you for your input and questions. We will incorporate them into our work and address them at the public meetings scheduled to cover these topics. As a reminder, the schedule and topics are as follows: June 2012 – Mine Permitting, Environmental Impact Analysis and Environmental Monitoring of Mine Sites, Disposal of Mine Waste, Mine Site Reclamation August 2012 – Water Quality Monitoring Plan for Surface and Groundwater, Air Quality Monitoring Plan, Virginia Water Quality Standards and Waterworks Regulations October 2012 – Findings on Issues Related to Public Health and Safety, Mill Licensing, Tailings Storage, Disposal and Monitoring, Mill Site Closure/Decommissioning, Drinking Water Regulations, Private Well Regulatory Framework, Recreational Use of Waters, Reinstitution of the Radon Program, Environmental Monitoring, Epidemiological Surveillance November 2012 – Worker Health and Safety, Unified Emergency Preparedness and Response Plan, Summary of Findings and Presentation of Draft Statutory Changes and Conceptual Regulation, Summary of Findings and Recommendations Regarding Financial Impacts

Wright Environmental Management - Submitted by Deborah - 6/13/2012 5:59:09 PM
Comments/Questions: How come this is not on the web site and explain to me how they have experience in uranium mining and I see there is Canadian Connections Please list step by step how the following company was chosen: To help with the study, the state hired Wright Environmental Management at a cost of about $500,000, according to Matt Conrad, the governor’s deputy chief of staff. The state has had discussions with a second consultant but has not finalized a contract." Also, what date did the group choose Wright Environmental Management, another choice done in the dark! Shame on you! Debora Dix
Uranium Working Group Response: A copy of the Wright Environmental Services, Inc. contract is posted on this site under the Study Links and Documents tab. They were chosen following the Commonwealth's Public Procurement Process which is outlined below: REQUEST FOR PROPOSAL (RFP) PROCEDURES 1. Scope of Work (SOW) – This is the first and most critical step. It is the heart of the RFP that tells the contractor what he must do in order to receive payment from DEQ. The SOW should detail the “who, what, why, when, where, and how” of the project. The SOW cannot include dates…these are unknowns at this point. Define the contract period as “from date of award to some fixed end date”. Tasks completion dates can be phrased in several ways, i.e., a certain number of days after date of award, a certain number days prior to project completion, etc. 2. Purchase Requisition – Attach your SOW to an approved requisition and submit to the Procurement Office for processing. Include a list of any suggested vendors. The requestor named in the requisition generally becomes the Contract Administrator for the project. The evaluation committee members should be identified, and it is recommended that there are no more than 3-5 members. 3. Issue RFP – A Contract Officer will incorporate your SOW into an RFP template. Evaluation criteria, deliverables, and invoicing are determined at this time. The RFP is issued and must be publicly posted for a minimum of 10 calendar days. 4. Pre-proposal Conference – If the project has an estimated value of $100,000 or more, it is mandatory to conduct a pre-proposal conference and allow vendors to question any aspect of the RFP. 5. RFP Addendum – If any changes result from the pre-proposal conference, a written addendum must be issued. The addendum must be publicly posted for a minimum of 10 calendar days. 6. Proposal Due Date – Proposals are received, opened, and distributed to the pre-selected evaluation committee. 7. Proposal Evaluation – The evaluation committee members individually evaluate all proposals received. Proposals are scored, and the committee has an initial meeting to reach consensus. 8. Oral Presentations – It may be necessary to have vendors come in to make oral presentations and clarify certain aspects of their proposals. 9. Re-scoring of Proposals – New information gained in orals will result in re-scoring of proposals. The committee will meet and reach consensus on the re-scoring. 10. Negotiations – Generally 2-3 of the top scoring vendors are brought in for negotiations. Negotiations may be conducted with only 1 vendor if that vendor is clearly more qualified than the others. Everything in the RFP is subject to negotiation, including price. The committee will meet to decide negotiations points. 11. Re-scoring of Proposals – After negotiations are completed, proposals are re-scored by the committee (final scoring). 12. Notice of Intent to Award or Notice of Award – Award is made to the top-scoring vendor. If a vendor protest is anticipated, a Notice of Intent to Award is publicly posted for 10 calendar days. If not, a Notice of Award is issued, a contract is executed, and work on the project may commence. The average time from issuance of an RFP until contract award is approximately 90 days.

UWG members - Submitted by Joan - 6/13/2012 5:57:52 PM
Comments/Questions: I would like to know the name and contact information for each working group member. Thank you.
Uranium Working Group Response: The working group is composed of staff from the Departments of Environmental Quality (DEQ), Health (VDH), and Mines, Minerals and Energy (DMME). Participants will vary depending on the regulatory area implicated by a particular issue (e.g. water quality concerns would be examined by the staff of the agencies responsible for water quality regulation). The working group will be supported by consultants, engaged through a formal procurement process, who have expertise in the regulation and monitoring of uranium mining and milling specifically. One person at each of the three agencies will coordinate the work of their colleagues in completing the mission of the UWG: Rick Weeks (DEQ), Maureen Dempsey (VDH), and Cathie France (DMME).

General information - Submitted by John - 6/13/2012 5:57:06 PM
Comments/Questions: The process summary for the working group indicates that the working group will establish an email list to notify stakeholders and interested parties about the status of the group's work. Can you please add me to this email list? Thank you. Sincerely, John Herrmann

June 18 meeting in Chatham - Submitted by Arthur - 6/13/2012 5:56:12 PM
Comments/Questions: I cannot tell who is running the meeting upcoming in Chatham, the Working Group or the Coal & Energy commission subcommittee. Please advise.
Uranium Working Group Response: The Uranium Working Group is hosting the meeting and it will be facilitated by the Chairman of the Coal and Energy Commission, Delegate Terry Kilgore.

Contact List - Submitted by Sarah - 6/13/2012 5:55:11 PM
Comments/Questions: Please put me on the contact list to receive notifications of meetings, hearing, information related to the Uranium Working Group's project.

Keep the Ban - Submitted by Diane - 6/13/2012 5:54:06 PM
Comments/Questions: I am unable to attend the Forum as I wil lbe leading Vacation Bible School. I am very committed to keeping the Ban on Uranium mining and want to share my concern that I believe lifting the Ban is wrong on many fronts. I believe that if we lift this Ban we will be paying for this gross mistake for more years then many of of us can even imagine.

comments re UWG Process - Public Input - Submitted by Katie - 6/13/2012 5:52:56 PM
Comments/Questions: June 12, 2012 Comments regarding: Process to be used by the Uranium Working Group – Section III. Opportunities for Input 1. “The work began with review of all studies, back to 1984 (links to the studies are available at the group’s web site.” The studies done in the 1980s are not available on the UWG web site. Noteworthy among them is the 1984 Report of the Uranium Mining Task Force, which includes other reports in its six appendices. 2. “The questions raised by those studies have been identified.” What are the questions? 3. “Comments will be considered as part of the work on the relevant topics. They will be made public at the web site.” Comments have not been made public at the web site. 4. “Receiving comments in writing will allow the public to know what input is being considered and provide the individuals working on a given topic the benefit of the full comment, rather than relying on notes, or a verbal report, and preserves the commenter’s full thought. It also allows us to create an accurate record of information and input received.” So far, five months into the process, there has been no way for the public to know what input is being considered. 5. “Four public meetings will be convened by the Uranium Subcommittee of the Virginia Coal and Energy Commission, in June, August, October and November, to allow the group to report on progress, answer questions and receive comments; each agency’s designated lead for this project will attend these meetings and be available to answer questions.” Virginia’s Legislative Information System Meetings Calendar lists only a meeting of the work group, with no mention of the Uranium Mining Subcommittee: "06/18/12 6:00 p.m. Governor's Work Group on Uranium Mining - Public Meeting; Chatham High School, 100 Cavalier Circle, Chatham" http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?121+oth+MTG 6. “We will endeavor to release draft reports in advance of public meetings to allow time for review and related public comment.” No information that will be reported at the June 18 meeting has been released in advance. 7. “We will create an email list of interested persons and stakeholder groups in an effort to better publicize meetings and provide updates.” Please be sure I’m on that list.
Uranium Working Group Response: 1. Please forgive the oversight of the 1984 Task Force Report not being posted. It has been reviewed as part of the Working Group's work and will be posted ASAP. Thank you for bringing its absence to our attention. 2. The questions raised in the studies are identified in the Working Group's work plan which can be found in the Study Links and Documents section. Additional information about the questions raised and how they will be implemented will be detailed in the first report from our consultant which will be finalized and posted by July 10. 3. and 4. All comments have now been posted. 5. The Working Group will now be hosting the public meetings. 6. Materials and a detailed agenda for the June 18 meeting will be posted on Thursday, June 14 and a reminder and link to those materials will be sent to those who have signed up for email notifications. 7. You have been added to the email list.

Need greater detail on meetings - Submitted by Glen - 6/13/2012 4:14:49 PM
Comments/Questions: Please provide an agenda and details on the focus of future meetings. I'm seein more details in the newspapers than on this site right now. 6-13-12. Thanks
Uranium Working Group Response: As published on March 7, the topics for the public meetings will be as follows: June 2012 – Mine Permitting, Environmental Impact Analysis and Environmental Monitoring of Mine Sites, Disposal of Mine Waste, Mine Site Reclamation August 2012 – Water Quality Monitoring Plan for Surface and Groundwater, Air Quality Monitoring Plan, Virginia Water Quality Standards and Waterworks Regulations October 2012 – Findings on Issues Related to Public Health and Safety, Mill Licensing, Tailings Storage, Disposal and Monitoring, Mill Site Closure/Decommissioning, Drinking Water Regulations, Private Well Regulatory Framework, Recreational Use of Waters, Reinstitution of the Radon Program, Environmental Monitoring, Epidemiological Surveillance November 2012 – Worker Health and Safety, Unified Emergency Preparedness and Response Plan, Summary of Findings and Presentation of Draft Statutory Changes and Conceptual Regulation, Summary of Findings and Recommendations Regarding Financial Impacts We will post a detailed agenda and materials for the June 18 meeting on Thursday, June 14.

NRC Refutes NAS Study - Submitted by Ann - 6/13/2012 1:11:15 PM
Comments/Questions: I think you will find this article very informative: VA Mining Report Misses Mark on U.S. U-Regulation By Nancy E. Roth, Senior Editor, www.fuelcycleweek.com February 17 2012 A recent National Research Council panel report on the prospect of uranium mining in Virginia suggested that the state government would face “steep hurdles” in developing a trustworthy uranium-mining regulatory system. The report also failed to disclose that Virginia is a U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission Agreement State. This led many readers of the report to believe that the state would not be capable of establishing a regulatory system due to its lack of experience (See Insight Post, VA U-Mines Report Being Misread: Panel Chair, Jan. 12, 2012). In late January FCW spoke with Stephen Cohen, team leader of new facility licensing at the NRC, and NRC Public Affairs Officer David McIntyre, about the report’s chapter that laid out the regulatory framework for uranium mining, milling, processing and reclamation. FCW: What is the extent of NRC’s regulatory authority over conventional uranium mines? Steve Cohen: As far as conventional mines are concerned we don’t regulate the mining. We don’t regulate any activity until the ore enters the mill area or stockpile. 10 CFR Part 40 Appendix A, Criterion 5H discusses our requirement for minimizing the migration of radionuclides from ore into the subsurface. For ISR [in-situ recovery mines], because there is a chemical alteration to the ore when lixiviant is injected into the subsurface, it’s considered milling underground and we exert control there. Depleted ore underground is not material we regulate. FCW: Are there “gaps” in current laws regulating uranium mining, reclamation and long-term stewardship, as this report indicates? Cohen: Well again, you have to make a distinction between mining and milling. I can tell you, there is no gap in conventional milling regulations. There are multiple detailed regulations and guidance documents on how mills are supposed to be regulated, including health and safety for milling operations, and soon to come out is a new standard review plan for reviewing applications for conventional mills and heap-leach facilities. Conventional mills have ore crushed and ground and then leached. Heap leach mills don’t have crushing and grinding—the ore is piled on a pad and drip lines go over the heaps and release sulfuric acid to extract the uranium. FCW: Titan Uranium’s plan for their Sheep Mountain project, which is an underground uranium mine, calls for a heap-leach facility, correct? Cohen: Yes, and NRC did a presubmission audit onsite in October, where we reviewed that heap-leach facility. FCW: I’m about to read an excerpt from the panel’s report and ask if it accurately characterizes the Agreement State relationship between NRC and state regulators. “The programs of states that have signed agreements with the U.S. NRC (i.e., ‘Agreement States’) are provided technical assistance and are subject to review for their continued adequacy. Similarly, the programs of states with delegated authority from the U.S. EPA are assessed under a State Review Framework that allows EPA to consistently evaluate these programs. In contrast, some state activities, such as the regulation of uranium mining on non-federal lands, have no direct federal counterpart and therefore receive no comparable federal guidance and scrutiny.” Cohen: When NRC signs an agreement it relinquishes Federal regulatory authority to the state, which assumes regulatory authority under state law and is then required to meet our standards. Their regulations must be equal to ours in protection. Agreement states have the responsibility, and NRC offers technical assistance if it is requested. McIntyre: At NRC the Office of Federal and State Materials and Environmental Management Programs oversees the Agreement States and is in regular contact, at least weekly. The agreements cover anything related to our materials regulations—it’s not specific to uranium extraction. Nuclear power plants and fuel cycle facilities, like fuel-fabrication plants, always remain under NRC oversight. The agreement covers things like gauges, radiography cameras and medical isotopes and, when specified, uranium milling. Also, an agreement state doesn’t have to take over every aspect of the regulatory program. There are 37 Agreement States, and not all have uranium milling. When they negotiate their agreement with us they may say they want NRC to continue regulating uranium milling. New Mexico is an Agreement State, but NRC has authority over uranium milling sites there. Nebraska is another Agreement State in which NRC continues its oversight of uranium mills. Virginia is an Agreement State in that category. Its agreement with NRC does not cover uranium-milling regulations. NRC would oversee a uranium milling project there. Only Colorado, Illinois, Ohio, Texas, Utah and Washington have agreements in which the state has authority over uranium milling. FCW: The U.S. has little recent experience in regulating conventional uranium processing and reclamation of uranium mines and mills, according to the report. Would you agree that the U.S is out of practice in regulating conventional uranium mining practices? Cohen: No, I disagree. NRC staff has decades of experience licensing and regulating operating conventional mills and decommissioning numerous conventional mills. For example, our staff has worked on the White Mesa and Shootaring Canyon mills before Utah decided to take over that regulatory authority. We also have a licensed conventional mill, the Sweetwater mill in Wyoming. That’s on standby but activities take place there and we do regulate and inspect it. We have sufficient experience to continue licensing conventional mills. FCW: A key warning in the report is that all U.S. uranium mining has taken place in areas with “a negative water balance”—therefore federal agencies have “limited experience applying laws and regulations in positive water balance” environments. The panel is particularly concerned about the potential for flooded tailings impoundments. So much of your team’s application review consists of looking at groundwater issues and making sure applicants have adequate protections in place. Could this regulatory experience be relevant in a conventional mine in a moister environment? Cohen: They appear to be stating that most of the milling has occurred out West, where there is significantly more evaporation than precipitation. But to say our technical staff can’t make a decision on mills operating in an environment where there is more precipitation than evaporation is technically unjustified. The problems that we face with tailings impoundments are the same no matter where you put [the impoundment]. The liner has to be designed to keep the material from entering the surrounding environment—and that doesn’t change whether you are in the desert or in the Piedmont area of Virginia The second element of tailings impoundment is the cover—and that issue of containment also doesn’t change depending on where you put it. The design specifications and details of how you design a cover may vary but we absolutely have the expertise to evaluate a design and have done a fair amount of research in that area. If Virginia Uranium submitted an application we are able to review a design for a facility in more humid environment. FCW: The report criticizes the lack of integration and transparency of federal regulation of uranium mining activities. From your perspective, is this correct? Cohen: As far as milling is concerned, I disagree with the notion that the NRC is not transparent. We go out of our way to see that any substantive discussion of applicant or licensee projects happens in a public meeting. FCW: Here is what the report specifically said about NRC’s public outreach: “The U.S. NRC has a more robust approach to public participation in licensing a uranium processing facility, but there are no guarantees that pre-licensing public meetings or hearings will be held in the vicinity of the proposed facility, except in the event that an EIS (rather than simply an environmental assessment) is undertaken. …[T]here is no evidence at present that members of the public would be included in deliberations about post-closure plans.” Is this an accurate critique of NRC’s public participation process? McIntyre: First of all, NRC would be preparing an EIS to license that site in Virginia, so there would be public meetings in the area. I don’t know that we guarantee that public meetings will be near the site but we make our best efforts. Steve and other NRC staff go to [meetings in] remote areas, and ASLB [Atomic Safety and Licensing Board] does hold hearings out there. Sometimes there are funding limitations for travel, so in those cases we try to make sure people have access via telephone or video links. Also public meetings are held in the area on scoping for the EIS and again when the draft EIS is complete. We would be going down to the location for an EIS scoping meeting in Virginia. Cohen: When requested the staff will also travel down to the state to speak and deliver presentations, as I did on Nov. 12 at a symposium at Virginia Tech. Regarding reclamation plans, these are discussed in the application. Certainly the public can comment on those plans, and the public can submit contentions as part of a hearing request on reclamation. In final reclamation plans, under certain circumstances the public would have a chance to comment. For post-closure, the mill tailings impoundments are transferred to the U.S. Department of Energy for long-term care after decommissioning is completed and the specific license is terminated. DOE will care for a site under a Long-Term Surveillance Plan, which is approved by the NRC. Public input is generally not sought for these plans; however, the documents are publicly available through ADAMS. There has to be a reclamation plan in the application, because that forms the basis of the surety applicants must put aside

Pro Uranium Mining Citizen - Submitted by Ray - 6/13/2012 1:09:31 PM
Comments/Questions: I am a resident of Powhatan, Virginia. I support using our God given natural resources. I also like living without having to worry about radioactive contamination in my well water above one microcurie per liter. We should lift the uranium mining moratorium, and provide mine tailing cleanup limits so that we do not unduly contaminate our environment. Radiation is easily measured. We should not publish a regulation that requires an undetectable amount of radiation in the mining byproducts. We should set scientifically sound limits on that process. I support nuclear power generation in our state. I would support a new nuclear unit in Powhatan, where I live.

make all comments available - Submitted by Catharine - 6/13/2012 1:08:53 PM
Comments/Questions: If the Uranium Working Group is serious about meaningful public input, please make all submitted comments available on a timely basis on this site. Agencies of the Commonwealth have been inconsistent about online public participation. DEQ - at inistence of citizens - created a web site on which all electronically submitted comments to the Air Board on one permit several years ago could be reviewed and responded to. I request that this Working Group do the same.

Uranium Mining - Submitted by Tanya - 6/13/2012 1:07:12 PM
Comments/Questions: I think the impact of relying on outsourced and foreign resources, particularly on the Middle East's oil and China's cheap labor, is the exact reason why we should turn to our own resources for development and flourishment. With our current economy, allowing to mine the area will provide jobs, increase the money-flow in our state and our country, and would create American-made product, which is something we're all striving to do these days. Of course, safety measures must be taken, and all possible after-effects should be considered, but if a safe, environmentally-friendly plan for the mining can be developed, there's no reason not to build the economy up from the middle/working class and raise American pride. Thank you.

regulating uranium mining - Submitted by Anne - 6/13/2012 1:06:33 PM
Comments/Questions: As a retired biologist/environmentalist I hope fervantly that you can maintain some distance from industry lobbying on behalf of the future citizenry of south and southeast Virginia. I think that there is enough information from this and other countries concerning mistakes that have been made to create considerable reluctance to lift the ban on uranium mining. I question whether uranium mining in this rapidly growing populace already frequently short of potable water, and in this climate that is rapidly changing could ever be done safely. Thanks for your work on our behalf. Anne Nielsen

Nuclear Reactors andFuels - Submitted by Dr. Patrick - 6/13/2012 1:05:51 PM
Comments/Questions: Ladies and Gentlemen: Using uranium deposits to fuel nuclear reactors built with 1950's and 1960's technology will only continue to contribute to an unsolved environmental hazard and retard the development of reliable nuclear energy. In the 1970's a nuclear fuel company in Lynchburg was developing an improved nuclear reactor design, e.g., the thorium reactor. Because this reactor design actually consumed the byproducts needed for weapons, it was not thought to be in the national interest during the height of the Cold War. Work ceased on that design. The same reason used to discard a reactor design forty years ago is actually a good reason to continue its development today. Modern nuclear plants ideally should consume and not produce the long half-life, trans-uranium waste that is produced in existing plants. It would be better to have new, modern nuclear reactor designs before opening up additional fuel sources. Virginia once was a leader in the nuclear industry. It should be so again. Virginia still has a significant nuclear industry. The Commonwealth would be well served if it stimulated the development of new reactor designs that are much more environmentally friendly, more efficient, and much safer than those presently in use. The Commonwealth could offer a prize, such as assistance in construction, to the winning entry. By encouraging new reactor designs, the Commonwealth would create jobs in Virginia now and in the future. After new, twenty-first century technology is developed for improved nuclear power plants, open up the uranium deposits in Virginia. Sincerely, Patrick G. Barber, Ph.D. Professor Emeritus of Chemistry 2501 Whitehead Road Keysville, Virginia 23947 434.736.8207

announcements - Submitted by Emily - 6/13/2012 1:05:05 PM
Comments/Questions: I would like to be added to any listserves or public announcements that you send out related to the Uranium Working Group. Thank you, Emily Francis

Uranium Testimonial from a Well Driller - Submitted by Todd - 6/13/2012 1:04:21 PM
Comments/Questions: Dear Uranium Working Group, Back in July of last year, I went on a trip with my friend to his hometown in Port Lavaca, Texas for a couple weeks of relaxation and fishing along the Gulf. During our vacation, we stopped by several local communities along the way to see his daughter in Austin. One place in particular was the City of Goliad. The trip was interesting to say the least. We decided to stop in a local pub and restaurant and grab something to eat at the bar, when the topic came up about Uranium Mining. Several men sitting at the bar seemed interested when I told them about our Uranium project in Pittsylvania County, Virginia. The conversation went on for about an hour. My friend and I told this dirty blue-jean dressed fellow about how the general public has taken a strong stand to stop the mining of Uranium in our county. I also spoke about the Staunton River leading into Kerr/Buggs Island Lake, and how it supplies water to Virginia Beach. Here is his response... "Aren't you dead yet? Don't you have cancer yet? Look, let me explain something to you...I'm a well driller. I've been drilling for water in these parts going on for 20 years now. I'm here to tell you that Goliad has one the largest deposits of Uranium in the United States. You see, water runs right through Uranium. This mineral has been in the ground for centuries. Only a well driller understands what is going on. Drilling in this manner, like you said your Uranium Company back home wants to do, will NOT be an impact on mining or the environment. The only way you're going to contaminate is to take a bunch of shovels and clear away the surface to expose the dirt. Even if it gets exposed in a wet state, it will eventually dry out. If you want to get the skinny about Uranium, ask a well driller. They will tell you that the water table is full of Uranium in areas that has the mineral. I will personally tell you that mining Uranium is safer than some make you think otherwise." The conversation ended with a good luck hand shake from the well driller. After that discussion, I completely understood that Uranium mining is safe. And, our local economy will prosper from this.

Uranium mining in Virginia - Submitted by Mary L. - 6/13/2012 1:03:29 PM
Comments/Questions: I am totally opposed to uranium mining in our beautiful State of Virginia. Listen to the citizens of Virginia. We do not want it. As stated in the Holy Bible, 'the love of money is the root of evil'. Don't destroy our beautiful State.

Uranium mining in Pitts.Co. - Submitted by Mrs. James S. - 6/13/2012 1:02:40 PM
Comments/Questions: NO----NO-------NO-------NO------NO Please do not lift the ban on mining in Pittsylvania County. It is just a money making ploy !!!!

Uranium Mining - Submitted by Vicky - 6/13/2012 1:01:46 PM
Comments/Questions: I do not support lifting the ban on uranium mining in Virginia. I am very much opposed to uranium mining. Please do not lift the ban.

members of working group - Submitted by Suzanne - 6/13/2012 1:01:04 PM
Comments/Questions: Please send me the names and affiliations of members of the working group. thank you. Suzanne Keller 1430 Lorraine Ave Richmond, Virginia 23227
Uranium Working Group Response: The working group is composed of staff from the Departments of Environmental Quality (DEQ), Health (VDH), and Mines, Minerals and Energy (DMME). Participants will vary depending on the regulatory area implicated by a particular issue (e.g. water quality concerns would be examined by the staff of the agencies responsible for water quality regulation). The working group will be supported by consultants, engaged through a formal procurement process, who have expertise in the regulation and monitoring of uranium mining and milling specifically. One person at each of the three agencies will coordinate the work of their colleagues in completing the mission of the UWG: Rick Weeks (DEQ), Maureen Dempsey (VDH), and Cathie France (DMME).

TRANSPARENCY - Submitted by Arthur H. - 6/13/2012 1:00:24 PM
Comments/Questions: Give me a break! will hold no public meetings and will keep many of its papers secret. If this is "transparency" Cathie J. France needs to go "back to school". Not a good "smoke & mirrors" attempt !

VA Tech and Bodnar conflict of interest - Submitted by Corbin - 6/13/2012 12:59:09 PM
Comments/Questions: Dear Ms. France: Governor McDonnell has charged the recently appointed Uranium Working Group with answering technical questions not addressed by the National Academy of Sciences report, doing site-specific research, and developing regulations to govern the mining of uranium in Virginia. Robert Bodnar, Professor of Geosciences at Virginia Tech at first glance would seem an appropriate expert to inform the Working Group since he has directed research on the Cole’s Hill uranium deposit in Chatham since 2008. But therein lies the rub. Both Virginia Tech and Dr. Bodnar’s Department of Geosciences at the university have profited from contracts with VUI and stand to gain even more if Virginia allows uranium mining. Dr. Bodnar is an outspoken advocate of uranium mining, using his standing as a scientist and his affiliation with Virginia Tech to influence public opinion to lift the moratorium. Virginia Tech’s financial relationship with VUI and Dr. Bodnar’s public advocacy for uranium mining in Virginia, create an appearance of bias that could seriously undermine the public’s confidence in research and other work done by the university related to uranium mining in Virginia. For that reason, Virginia Tech and its faculty should be disqualified from participating in Uranium Working Group contracts and, further, the Uranium Working Group should not rely on information submitted by VUI without verification from an independent research group. If the Working Group does not have the resources to accomplish its task without transparency and independent verification, then its expenditures of time and money will be seen as a rubber stamp of the uranium mining lobby. VUI paid Va Tech at least $437,000 and possibly more than $700,000 in research grants to Dr. Bodnar’s Geosciences Department between 2008 and 2011. VUI also paid Va Tech $300,000 to serve as a conduit for a $1.4 million NAS study that VUI financed. All told, VUI has paid Virginia Tech at least $737,000 and possibly more than $1,000,000. VUI in addition paid for Dr. Bodnar to organize in November 2011 a “Workshop on Public Health and Safety of Uranium Mining and Milling and Nuclear Energy Production.” Experts with serious reservations about uranium mining were not invited. Dr. Bodnar is an outspoken public advocate of uranium mining in the state. He has repeatedly stated that he believes “[there] are many reasons to support the mining of uranium in Virginia…” (Richmond Times Dispatch, January 18, 2012). On July 14, 2010, he wrote in the Altavista Journal, “Lifting the moratorium on uranium mining will encourage mining companies to explore for uranium in Virginia, and this could lead to Virginia becoming the “….Saudi Arabia of nuclear fuel….” He has dismissed those who have expressed concerns about uranium mining in Virginia of NIMBY—Not In My Back Yard. And Dr. Bodnar is listed as co-author with VUI of a power point presentation used by VUI representatives to promote uranium mining. Scientific analysis must be conducted in a neutral environment using a methodology that neither prejudges nor influences the outcome. It is hard to imagine that a university with a financial stake in the outcome and doing business with the uranium company at issue could be an impartial contractor. Hiring a scientist such as Dr. Bodnar who already has articulated a desired outcome raises the likelihood that his personal bias might taint, even unintentionally, the structuring and conduct of his investigation, the questions he asks, the data he evaluates, and the interpretation of that data. Given the magnitude of the decision that the legislature and the Governor will have to make, it is essential that there be no conflict of interest - real or perceived - that might call into question the outcome that Virginians will live with for thousands of years. The Uranium Working Group should engage explicitly and completely independent researchers to lead the inquiry as mandated by the Governor’s directive. Many do not believe that Virginia Tech and its faculty meet that standard. Sincerely, Corbin Harwood, MD Halifax County native and property owner Corbin.har@gmail.com 301-648-7711 cc: The Honorable Robert F. McDonnell The Richmond Times Dispatch The South Boston News and Record The Honorable Don Merricks

Public meetings - Submitted by Linda - 6/13/2012 12:57:55 PM
Comments/Questions: This website lists the dates of the public meetings, but not the locations. Please advise.
Uranium Working Group Response: The future meetings will be held in the following localities: June 18 - Chatham High School, Chatham August 2 - Chatham August 28 - Virginia Beach October 17 - Chatham November 20 - Richmond The physical addresses will be updated as soon as possible.

Study Group Members - Submitted by Arthur H. - 6/13/2012 12:57:15 PM
Comments/Questions: Specifically, who are the other members of the "Study Group", in addition to Cathie J. France ?
Uranium Working Group Response: The working group is composed of staff from the Departments of Environmental Quality (DEQ), Health (VDH), and Mines, Minerals and Energy (DMME). Participants will vary depending on the regulatory area implicated by a particular issue (e.g. water quality concerns would be examined by the staff of the agencies responsible for water quality regulation). The working group will be supported by consultants, engaged through a formal procurement process, who have expertise in the regulation and monitoring of uranium mining and milling specifically. One person at each of the three agencies will coordinate the work of their colleagues in completing the mission of the UWG: Rick Weeks (DEQ), Maureen Dempsey(VDH), and Cathie France (DMME).

Uranium Working Group Secrecy - Submitted by Chamie - 6/13/2012 12:56:16 PM
Comments/Questions: Hi. As a member of a conservative family, I am disappointed in the Group's failure to provide transparency and involvement for the public, especially given all the interest in the study. You may recall that the NAS study report quite clearly stated and recommended that any move toward uranium mining should be "founded on principles of openness, transparency, and public involvement," which is the opposite of what is happening now. Whether or not it is justified, the Group is encouraging the public to distrust the findings of the Group. If I may add my concern with uranium mining, please keep long term costs in mind. The mining company can sell itself to anyone in the world in generations to come, but generations of Virginians will still be paying the costs to determine, repair and remediate damages from container waste as the liners inevitably break down. Spend our taxpayer money to bring Virginia less controversial, private jobs with longer employment possibilities, and less dependence on government oversight. Chamie Valentine, Richmond

VA Tech and Bodnar conflict of interest - Submitted by Corbin - 6/13/2012 12:55:25 PM
Comments/Questions: Corbin Harwood March 11, 2012 Cathie J. France Deputy Director, Department of Mines, Minerals, and Energy Richmond, VA Dear Ms. France: Governor McDonnell has charged the recently appointed Uranium Working Group with answering technical questions not addressed by the National Academy of Sciences report, doing site-specific research, and developing regulations to govern the mining of uranium in Virginia. Robert Bodnar, Professor of Geosciences at Virginia Tech at first glance would seem an appropriate expert to inform the Working Group since he has directed research on the Cole’s Hill uranium deposit in Chatham since 2008. But therein lies the rub. Both Virginia Tech and Dr. Bodnar’s Department of Geosciences at the university have profited from contracts with VUI and stand to gain even more if Virginia allows uranium mining. Dr. Bodnar is an outspoken advocate of uranium mining, using his standing as a scientist and his affiliation with Virginia Tech to influence public opinion to lift the moratorium. Virginia Tech’s financial relationship with VUI and Dr. Bodnar’s public advocacy for uranium mining in Virginia create an appearance of bias that could seriously undermine the public’s confidence in research and other work done by the university related to uranium mining in Virginia. For that reason, Virginia Tech and its faculty should be disqualified from participating in Uranium Working Group contracts and, further, the Uranium Working Group should not rely on information submitted by VUI without verification from an independent research group. If the Working Group does not have the resources to accomplish its task in a transparent fashion using independent experts, then its findings and recommendations will be seen as a rubber stamp of the uranium mining lobby and a waste of taxpayer money. VUI paid Va Tech at least $437,000 and possibly more than $700,000 in research grants to Dr. Bodnar’s Geosciences Department between 2008 and 2011. VUI also paid Va Tech $300,000 to serve as a conduit for a $1.4 million NAS study that VUI financed. All told, VUI has paid Virginia Tech at least $737,000 and possibly more than $1,000,000. VUI in addition paid for Dr. Bodnar to organize in November 2011 a “Workshop on Public Health and Safety of Uranium Mining and Milling and Nuclear Energy Production.” Experts with serious reservations about uranium mining were not invited. Dr. Bodnar is an outspoken public advocate of uranium mining in the state. He has repeatedly stated that he believes “[there] are many reasons to support the mining of uranium in Virginia…” (Richmond Times Dispatch, January 18, 2012). On July 14, 2010, he wrote in the Altavista Journal, “Lifting the moratorium on uranium mining will encourage mining companies to explore for uranium in Virginia, and this could lead to Virginia becoming the “….Saudi Arabia of nuclear fuel….” He has dismissed those who have expressed concerns about uranium mining in Virginia of NIMBY—Not In My Back Yard. And Dr. Bodnar is listed as co-author with VUI of a power point presentation used by VUI representatives to promote uranium mining. Scientific analysis must be conducted in a neutral environment using a methodology that neither prejudges nor influences the outcome. It is hard to imagine that a university with a financial stake in the outcome that is doing business with the uranium company at issue could be an impartial contractor. Hiring a scientist such as Dr. Bodnar who already has articulated a desired outcome raises the likelihood that his personal bias might taint, even unintentionally, the structuring and conduct of his investigation, the questions he asks, the data he evaluates, and the interpretation of that data. Given the magnitude of the decision that the legislature and the Governor will have to make, it is essential that there be no conflict of interest - real or perceived - that might call into question the outcome that Virginians will live with for thousands of years. The Uranium Working Group should engage explicitly and completely independent researchers to lead the inquiry as mandated by the Governor’s directive. Many do not believe that Virginia Tech and its faculty meet that standard. Sincerely, Corbin Harwood, MD Halifax County native and property owner Corbin.har@gmail.com 301-648-7711 cc: The Honorable Robert F. McDonnell The Richmond Times Dispatch The South Boston News and Record The Honorable Don Merricks

Situation Assessment of Virginia Uranium for Georg - Submitted by Cristina - 6/13/2012 12:53:59 PM
Comments/Questions: Situation Assessment of Virginia Uranium for Georgetown University Comments/Questions: My name is Cristina Logg, and I am a graduate student at Georgetown University studying Conflict Resolution. I am working with Aaron Karako and Katarina Pedersen on developing a situation assessment of the Virginia Uranium mining issue that is currently affecting the state. A conflict assessment consists of identifying all of the important stakeholders involved in an issue, speaking with the stakeholders about their perspectives on the situation, and determining whether mediation, negotiation, or other forms of conflict resolution practices can be successfully used. We would like to conduct a short interview with you in person, over the phone, on Skype, or over email concerning the issues. We are not conducting this situation assessment to make a judgement on the Virginia Uranium mining proposals; instead we seek to understand the feasibility of resolving the conflict through using non-legislative and non-judicial means. All of our interviews would be conducted with full confidentiality. Any time that you have to share your input with us is greatly valued. Looking forward to hearing back from you. I can be reached at Cal225@georgetown.edu or CristinaLogg@gmail.com. Sincerely, Cristina Logg

uranium mineing and milling - Submitted by Mack - 6/13/2012 12:53:09 PM
Comments/Questions: I'm concerened about the health risks to me and our family,neighors and community.Money should never rule should it? Please do what is right and protect us.We live with in three miles of Pittsylvania County site , Show the people you care.

Uranium Mining Subcommittee_public comment - Submitted by E. - 6/13/2012 12:52:18 PM
Comments/Questions: For the June 2012 meeting of the Uranium Mining Subcommittee -- please provide: - the physical location of the meeting - the time the meeting will start - what day in June it will occur Thanks in advance.
Uranium Working Group Response: Monday, June, 18 2012 6:00 P.M. Chatham High School, 100 Cavalier Circle, Chatham

Cost for more studies - Submitted by Deborah - 6/13/2012 12:51:26 PM
Comments/Questions: What will be the cost of the studies? Also why is the gov of VA cutting $5 million dollars from Pittsyvania County but wasting taxpayers monies ont so call uranium mining regulations. Our children's education is more important than doing regulations for Canada.
Uranium Working Group Response: The DEQ/DMME contract with Wright Environmental Services, Inc. is for $513,000 in services and the VDH contract is for $520,350.

uranium mining - Submitted by thomas - 6/13/2012 12:50:42 PM
Comments/Questions: You need to make this process 100% open to the citizenry. If you mess up this decision, the results could be catastrophic and historic. Common sense dictates that water and radioactivity shouldn't mix, especially in populated areas. Be 100% sure you're not poisoning Virginia for generations to come. If you're to defy common sense, be 100% open with information and 100% sure of your decision. Tom Evans

Coles Hill Site-Specific Study - Submitted by Barbara - 6/13/2012 12:49:50 PM
Comments/Questions: Will the site-specific study at Coles Hill be the model for lifting the ban on uranium mining in Virginia as a whole, or will it apply specifically to Coles Hill? Is the Governor preparing the legislature to amend the Virginia Constitution to lift the ban to allow uranium mining at Coles Hill?
Uranium Working Group Response: The conceptual statutory/regulatory framework and analysis being performed by the Working Group will have statewide application. A site-specific analysis of Coles Hill will be completed to ensure that the possible regulatory framework that will be developed would address all conditions that may be unique to this site. The current ban on uranium is statutory, not Constitutional. The purpose of the Working Group is to provide information to the Governor and in turn the legislature so they can make an informed decision about whether to lift the ban.

Freedom of Information Request - Submitted by karen b. maute - 6/13/2012 12:48:58 PM
Comments/Questions: Please send names and titles of those serving on the Uranium Working Group. Thank you, Karen B. Maute 2920 Mt. Cross Rd. Danville, VA 24540
Uranium Working Group Response: The working group is composed of staff from the Departments of Environmental Quality (DEQ), Health (VDH), and Mines, Minerals and Energy (DMME). Participants will vary depending on the regulatory area implicated by a particular issue (e.g. water quality concerns would be examined by the staff of the agencies responsible for water quality regulation). The working group will be supported by consultants, engaged through a formal procurement process, who have expertise in the regulation and monitoring of uranium mining and milling specifically. One person at each of the three agencies will coordinate the work of their colleagues in completing the mission of the UWG: Rick Weeks (DEQ), Maureen Dempsey(VDH) and Cathie France (DMME).

radio show - Submitted by adrienne - 6/13/2012 12:48:01 PM
Comments/Questions: Greetings to you. I hope you are enjoying this beautiful Spring. My name is Adrienne Young-Ramsey. I have a radio show, on 106.1 The Corner, in Charlottesville, that is on every other Friday Morning. We often interview guests representing knowledge on areas of interest to the community and were wondering if there was someone at your office that would be willing to talk with us about Uranium Mining, in Virginia. It would be prerecorded, so we could absolutely work with your schedule. Thank you for your consideration, Adrienne Young-Ramsey

URANIUM MINING - Submitted by Paulette - 6/13/2012 12:47:15 PM
Comments/Questions: Good Evening, I have alot of concerns about lifting the ban on uranium mining. Please for our health and the health of generations DO NOT allow uranium mining. Thank You, Paulette Amory

uranium mining in Virginia - Submitted by Edrie - 6/13/2012 12:45:55 PM
Comments/Questions: The issues of safety and environmental damages have not been "heard" by the government. Again corporations, whose only moral guidance, is the bottom line are pushing their agenda through the Commonwealth with the help of certain politicians. Declarations of transparency and actions of secrecy are NOT the American Way. It is a crime and a sin that the creed here is greed although it may be cloaked in political doubletalk touting the benefits of uranium mining in Virginia. Shame! Shame! Shame!

Uranium Mining Unsafe - Submitted by Betty - 6/13/2012 12:45:04 PM
Comments/Questions: I strongly oppose uranium mining in Virginia because of the safety and health risks. A lot more research needs to be done before we even consider doing this.

Uranium mining tailings - Submitted by Norman - 6/13/2012 12:43:56 PM
Comments/Questions: 1. How effectively can suspended particulate matter be removed? 2. What is the concentration of dissolved uranium in the tailings ? 3. Is the dissolved uranium in anionic form? 4. Have absorbents been tried which are capable of reducing dissolved anionic uranium to below 1 PPB ?
Uranium Working Group Response: Thank you for your questions. We will incorporate them into our work study and the responses will be addressed at the October public meeting of the Working Group.

No Uraniaum - Submitted by Genevieve - 6/13/2012 12:43:02 PM
Comments/Questions: No uranium mining!

Uranium Working Group - Submitted by Jessie - 6/13/2012 12:42:08 PM
Comments/Questions: I am a member of the Pittsylvania County Board of Supervisors, representing the Banister District which encompasses Coles Hill. As a minimum, there should be "local" representation on the UWG, if only as an ad hoc member. I am volunteering to be that representative. Thank you. H: (434) 432-2124 C: (434) 489-3733

Use of Thorium - Submitted by Josie - 6/13/2012 12:40:44 PM
Comments/Questions: Called into Governor's office on April 5, 2012 requesting the Working Group look into the potential use of Thorium instead of Uranium. Specifically cited the website: http://www.thebushwhacker.com/the-old-new-nuclear-fuel-thorium.

comp plan question - Submitted by karen - 6/13/2012 12:38:11 PM
Comments/Questions: please define "modern best international practices", "emerging standards and technologies" and "internationally accepted best practices" as mentioned in the UWG Comp. plan on the website. Also, a question. France no longer mines uranium so why review their regulatory programs? Are you reviewing their programs in African countries where they currently mine?
Uranium Working Group Response: Thank you for your questions. They have been incorporated into our work and will be addressed at the June 18th meeting of the Working Group.

Upcoming meeting notices - Submitted by Dean - 6/13/2012 12:35:03 PM
Comments/Questions: Dear sirs- the Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce would like to be informed of any upcoming open meetings of the Uranium Working Group. Thank you.
Uranium Working Group Response: NULL

Questions for Work Group - Submitted by Sarah - 6/13/2012 12:33:37 PM
Comments/Questions: 1. Could the Work Group seek guidance from the Attorney General’s Office in reviewing the impact on the State of Virginia’s budget if the following scenario were to take place: A. Coles Hill project is placed on “moth ball” status, ten years into the project with above ground tailings impoundment; B. There is a breech in the tailings impoundment due to an Act of God (hurricane or earthquake). This breech impacts Lake Gaston; C. Who would compensate North Carolina residents for decreased availability of water which meets baseline standards; D. What if any legal obligation would the VUI corporate structure have during this time when there is an implication of stagnant earning (ie. “moth ball” status)? 2. What can Virginia learn from western states when water use disputes arise between the states? 3. How often have lawsuits occurred between states relating to uranium mining activities since the 1970's? 4. Who pays for monitoring during the “moth ball” status? What percentage of all uranium mine and mill sites since the 1970's have had periods of dormancy (“moth ball” status)? 5. If at the end of the Coles Hill project the tailings are secured in the underground mine, are there any circumstances under which this property would not revert to state or federal ownership vs. VUI ownership?
Uranium Working Group Response: Thank you for your questions. We will incorporate them into our work study and address them at the meeting that pertains to that subject matter. As a reminder, the schedule is as follows: June 2012 – Mine Permitting, Environmental Impact Analysis & Environmental Monitoring of Mine Sites, Disposal of Mine Waste, Mine Site Reclamation August 2012 – Water Quality monitoring plan for surface and groundwater, Air Quality monitoring plan, Virginia Water Quality Standards and Waterworks Regulations October 2012 – Findings on issues related to public health and safety, Mill Licensing, Tailings Storage, Disposal and Monitoring, Mill Site Closure/Decommissioning, Drinking Water Regulations, Private Well Regulatory Framework, Recreational use of waters, Reinstitution of the Radon program, Environmental Monitoring, Epidemiological Surveillance November 2012 – Worker Health and Safety, Unified Emergency Preparedness and Response Plan, Summary of findings and presentation of draft statutory changes and conceptual regulation, summary of findings and recommendations regarding financial impacts

media - Submitted by Deborah - 6/13/2012 12:32:44 PM
Comments/Questions: How will the June 18 meeting in Chatham be promoted? I think the majority of the people do not have internet and do not know how to find this site even if they did have access? If you google UWG you get the University of Western Georgia. I would hope the Uranium Working Group would be more transparent and with easier access to the general public.
Uranium Working Group Response: All three of the local papers were provided details of the meeting, it is posted on the Commonwelath Calendar and this website, and an e-mail reminder will go out tomorrow to those who have signed up for email notifications with a link to the agenda and materials for the meeting.

baseline data - Submitted by Deborah - 6/13/2012 12:31:56 PM
Comments/Questions: What type of baseline data should or would be required, paid for by whom, durations, and at what distance from any uranium mine or mill? Such as quanity and quality of water, air, radon, food products, agriculture, livestock, wildlife, birds, fish, and animals, livestock, livestock food etc. just to name a few. I also would like to be included on any emails and/or notices that Uranium Working Group sends out pertaining to any subject.
Uranium Working Group Response: Thank you for your question. The response as it pertains to mining will be addressed at the June 18th public meeting of the Working Group and as it pertains to milling will be addressed at the October meeting of the Working Group. You will be added to the email list for notifications.