Uranium Working Group Holds Meeting in Chatham

Chatham, VA - Tuesday, a big meeting was held, that could determine the future of uranium mining in Virginia.

Governor McDonnell's uranium working group made their final presentation to the coal and energy commission subcommittee on mining.

The meeting was held in Chatham, minutes away from that massive uranium deposit.

The major presentation was of the group's final 125 page study, compiled this November. It outlines important findings involving environmental, medical, scientific, and safety impacts associated with mining.

No determination was made on whether the moratorium should be lifted.

Representatives from the committee said they think the group will make a recommendation to Governor McDonnell early next year.

For hours, members of the group, many, representatives from state departments like environmental quality and the health department, answered questions from the public.

Many audience members saw the meeting as a huge learning experience; even for those who have already formed their opinions.

"There is some risk in everything we do. Every bite of food I take, there's a risk, every time I get in the automobile, there's a risk" said county resident, Lillian Gillespie.

"I feel that it is going to be presented in a light that is not favorable to keeping the moratorium" said Pittsylvania County Supervisor, Marshall Ecker.

"I'd like to see it move forward, instead of being right here" said county resident, Gordon Gillespie.

That was the sentiment among many of these audience members.

But even if the moratorium is lifted, the company looking to mine the site would then have to apply, and get approval from the nuclear regulatory commission. And that could take another few years.