- Last Updated on 02:36 PM 11/30/12
- BY The Gazette-Virginian
“Our company is pleased that the Uranium Working Group (UWG) has completed its task by developing a framework of robust regulations for uranium mining in Virginia that will ensure the protection of our public health, worker safety and the environment,” said Patrick Wales, project manager for Virginia Uranium Inc. in Chatham Friday afternoon following the release of the report.
The report leaves no doubt that our regulatory agencies are capable of effectively and safely regulating uranium mining, Wales said.
In the report’s own words:
“If the General Assembly decides to lift the existing moratorium, the need for a comprehensive program to regulate uranium mining within DMME can be met by developing a statutory and regulatory program for uranium mining.”
“With the UWG’s task now complete, along with numerous other scientific studies conducted over the past few years, we sincerely believe our elected representatives are equipped with the information and assurances they will need to lift Virginia’s moratorium on uranium mining by allowing our state’s regulatory agencies to adopt an appropriate regulatory program,” Wales said.
“Virginia’s lawmakers and citizens across the commonwealth should be reassured by the thorough, systematic approach the working group took to addressing every area of concern expressed over the last year and specifically identifying all of the regulatory and statutory requirements that would need to be in place to safeguard public health, worker safety and the environment.
“We fully embrace the need for strict regulations to ensure that our company meets the highest standard for protection, and we look forward to working closely with state and federal regulators to demonstrate how our project will meet that commitment.
“We are confident that with the benefit of the internationally accepted best practices and regulatory standards identified in the working group’s report and the National Academy of Sciences study, Virginia’s regulatory agencies are fully capable of crafting a program that will protect Virginia’s environment and the health of our communities. Further, as the working group report demonstrates, Virginia’s regulatory agencies have an excellent track record for regulating mining activity across the commonwealth and are prepared to meet the task of regulating uranium mining,” Wales continued.
For more than three decades, these practices have been used safely and effectively in the western United States, Canada, Australia and other advanced countries throughout the world, he added.
“The environmental performance of the uranium mining industry over the last 30 years proves that we can do this safely and in a way that protects our environment. Our commitment is to continue this outstanding track record and operate the safest uranium mine in the world right here in Virginia,” Wales concluded.