Mining

VA Company Sues State to Mine Uranium

Aug 7, 2015
AP Photo/Steve Helber

For more than 30 years, Virginia has banned mining of uranium.  Now, the owner of a large uranium deposit in Pittsylvania County has filed suit, hoping to overturn that law.

Virginia Uranium, Inc. has tried for years to persuade the legislature that it can safely mine a large deposit of the radioactive ore.  The company has given nearly $370,000 to legislative campaigns since 2008, but when Governor Terry McAuliffe said he would veto any attempt to lift the ban on mining, Virginia Uranium filed suit in U.S. District Court.

Photo by Matt Wasson, Appalachian Voices.

The decline of coal mining is a blessing to some and a curse to others. And when it comes to what’s known as ‘mountain top removal’ the disagreement runs even deeper. Appalachia is ground zero for this form of surface coal mining. And while it’s only a small percentage of all coal mining, opponents are calling for it to stop.

“Appalachia has so much potential, but we can’t realize that potential if we continue to poison our water and destroy our mountains."

ilovemountains.org

Even though mountain top removal mining has been on the decline since 2008, the effects on people living in coal mined areas, is not.  A new tool tracks the impact on communities over time and shows where it’s been greatest.

A plan for a controversial highway, known as the Coalfields Expressway, will undergo a full environmental impact study by the Virginia Department of Transportation.

V-DOT has described the plan the road as an economic lifeline for a region with a depressed economy. But citizen groups see it as benefiting only coal mining companies and not local communities.

 

Coal Mine Reclamation

Oct 16, 2013

For more than a century, coal companies here in Virginia have been transforming wooded hillsides -- strip mining more than a million acres of land in Central Appalachia.

They're required to restore those sites, but environmentalists aren't always happy with the results, and area residents find no economic use for the land. Now, however, there's something new happening on old mining sites.

For more information:

Green Forests Work

American Chestnut Foundation

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