RICHMOND, Va. (AP) -- Proposed uranium mining in Virginia has survived its first legislative test with lawmakers recommending that the General Assembly consider the creation of regulations for the mining of the radioactive ore.
The Coal and Energy Commission voted 11-2 with three members abstaining on Monday in support of legislation being drafted by Republican Sen. John Watkins that would limit mining to the Coles Hill deposit in Pittsylvania County by Virginia Uranium Inc. The legislation could lay the groundwork for the end of a decades-old ban on uranium mining in the state.
Virginia Uranium has proposed tapping a 119-million-pound deposit of the ore in Pittsylvania County.
Opponents argue that Virginia's wet, hurricane-prone environment is a bad place to mine uranium. Virginia Uranium says mining and milling can be done safely.