North Carolina Leaders Weighs In on Uranium Mining

Caswell Co., NC - The uranium mining debate has been a hot-button issue on the Southside for quite some time, now people in North Carolina are getting involved as well.

Lawmakers and opposition groups in counties close to the border are speaking out on what they feel is just as much their issue as it is ours.

Local lawmakers say folks are concerned about the possibility of water quality being affected.

It will be Virginia legislators who have the final say, but officials in North Carolina say they want to provide as much input as possible.

"I don't know enough to say that I would be in support or opposed, but I do know enough to know that the possibility of something negatively impacting the water quality is a concern," said Nate Hall. Caswell County Commissioner

Hall is a member of the Virginia North Carolina Bi-State Water Quality Commission that has worked for more than a year to evaluate the potential impact.

"We have concerns about the drinking water, water for wildlife, water quality, fishing, etc," said Hall.

Other officials are not on the fence about their opposition to mining and milling.

"My constituents are not convinced and most of the elected officials do not appear to be convinced," said Angela Bryant, NC State Senator.

Opponents formed a coalition to take the fight against uranium mining to legislators, and they say they want to have some input.

"It is an issue for Virginians to vote on but yet we share the resource, we share the water. We needed to have our opinions heard," said Mike Pucci with North Carolina Coalition Against Uranium Mining.

Now they hope that their concerns will be considered when the decision whether or not to lift the ban is being made.

"It's kind of out of sight, out of mind in some respects in the capitol and we've changed that. Now we've got good support," said Pucci.