Herring announces opposition to lifting ban on uranium mining
State Sen. Mark Herring, a candidate for the Democratic Party attorney general nomination, released the following statement on Wednesday announcing his opposition to legislation that would lift the ban on uranium mining and milling in Virginia:
“Over the past year, I’ve had the opportunity to meet with interested stakeholders on both sides of the debate over whether to end the ban on uranium mining and milling in Virginia. I have carefully considered their positions, as well as the scientific evidence, and I have concluded that ending the ban on uranium mining and milling is not the right course for our Commonwealth.
“Therefore, I will oppose legislation during the upcoming 2013 General Assembly session that would lift the ban. Additionally, I plan to introduce budget language that would prohibit any state funding from being used to promulgate regulations designed to circumvent the ban.
“The governor should not be using taxpayer dollars and staff resources to create the regulatory framework for uranium mining, which is currently prohibited by state law.
“The health and safety of the public, and of the environment, should be of paramount concern when considering issues such as this and I am simply not convinced that uranium mining can be conducted in Southside Virginia in a safe and environmentally responsible way. I take very seriously the concerns raised by citizens, business leaders and local officials in both Southside and Hampton Roads who have expressed to me their fears with regard to the potential for negative public health impacts, particularly water supply contamination.
“I look forward to working with those same citizens, business leaders and local officials on ways we can improve and expand economic opportunity in Southside and diversify Virginia’s portfolio of domestic energy resources.”