ROANOKE, Va—Religious leaders from our area have banded together against uranium mining in Pittsylvania County.
The group of ministers and pastors gathered in Roanoke Friday to make public their stance on continuing the statewide moratorium on uranium mining. They even want to take it one step further, by asking the General Assembly to impose a permanent ban on uranium mining. The group issued a resolution to send to Richmond, signed by 17 religious leaders from around southwest Virginia.
"We believe the people ought to have information," Ziglar explains. "We believe that we have elected people for our Senate and our elected representatives, and they may not know how we feel. So, we the church have lifted our heads and taken a stand to say this is how we feel. Uranium mining is bad news for Virginia."
The group also cites a health study done in South Carolina, in areas that allowed mining. This group says the study found African Americans may be more vulnerable to the biological effects of uranium.
Roanoke City Councilman and minister Sherman Lea stated his specific concerns with uranium mining at the Coles Hill site in Chatham. "The uranium mine and mill at Coles Hill would put people living downstream from the site at elevated risk for having dissolved uranium in the groundwater for the next 100,000 years," Lea said. "Scientific research on groundwater uranium and cancer incidence in South Carolina found that African Americans maybe more likely than European Americans to develop cancer as a result of consuming groundwater containing high levels of dissolved uranium."
Uranium mining is likely to be one of the hot topics when the General Assembly reconvenes on Wednesday. Your Hometown News Leader will bring you coverage from the state capitol throughout the session.