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How Would Uranium Affect You? Speak Out At Tuesday’s Meeting

The Virginia Coal and Energy Commission’s Uranium Mining Subcommittee will hold a public meeting seeking input from Southside Virginia residents on the scope of the socio-economic impact study of uranium mining Tuesday, June 22, at 6 p.m. at Chatham High School. The high school is located at 100 Cavalier Circle in Chatham.

Residents are encouraged to voice their opinion on the socioeconomic study of uranium mining and milling during the public-comment meeting.

The study, the second portion of the state’s two-part examination of the impacts of uranium mining and milling, will focus on Pittsylvania County and the surrounding region.

The Virginia Tobacco Commission is providing up to $200,000 to the Coal and Energy Commission for the socioeconomic study.

The National Academy of Sciences/National Research Council is conducting the other part of the study focusing on the scientific and technical aspects of uranium mining and milling. That study, indirectly paid for by Virginia Uranium Inc., is expected to be complete in the fall of 2011.

Virginia Uranium Inc. seeks to mine and mill a 119-million-pound uranium ore deposit at Coles Hill, about six miles northeast of Chatham.

Virginia has had a moratorium on uranium mining and milling since 1982.

Mining proponents say the Coles Hill project would provide hundreds of jobs and boost the local economy. Opponents say uranium mining and milling would pollute the air, land and water and threaten public health.