RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — A divided panel of speakers at a forum offered starkly different views of allowing uranium mining in Virginia.
The speakers participated in a daylong program Thursday sponsored by the Garden Club of Virginia.
Proponents are casting the issue as a matter of energy independence and economic development for Southside Virginia, where one of the world’s largest uranium deposits is located.
But opponents are raising questions about whether mining can occur without environmental harm.
Virginia Uranium Inc. is proposing to mine the 119-million-pound deposit in Pittsylvania County. The mine would be the first on the East Coast, which is subject to hurricanes and drenching rains.
Virginia has had a moratorium on uranium mining since 1982. Ending the ban is likely headed to the 2012 General Assembly.