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Uranium opponents travel to Richmond

Two chartered buses loaded with uranium mining opponents traveled to Richmond Monday to urge legislators to keep the moratorium on uranium mining in Virginia.

Jack Dunavant, chairman of We the People of Virginia, Inc., greeted approximately 100 people Monday morning as they boarded the bus outside St. John’s Church parking lot. 

We the People sponsored the free bus trip on the day a legislative committee took up SB919 that would require Virginia Uranium Inc. to contribute a “3 percent severance tax on the gross receipts of any uranium severed from the earth” – 1-1/2 percent of that money would go to the state and 1-1/2 percent to Pittsylvania County.

Dunavant said he planned to return to Richmond again on Thursday when the public will have an opportunity to comment on Sen. John Watkin’s Bill 1353 that introduces legislation to establish regulatory and licensing requirements for Virginia Uranium Inc., the Chatham-based company that hopes to mine the Coles Hill deposit in Pittsylvania County. 

The bill is aimed at lifting the 30-year moratorium on uranium mining and is specific to the Coles Hill site.

Members of the Senate Agriculture, Conservation and Natural Resources Committee are scheduled to discuss the bill one-half hour after adjournment Thursday in Senate Room A of the General Assembly Building in Richmond.

Local legislators are urging all attending to arrive at the General Assembly building by noon.