Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Uranium Roundup: VMNH Geologist Supports Mining

The Uranium Roundup for this week:
  • Chatham-Blairs District Supervisor Hank Davis wants state and federal authorities to investigate lead levels near the Coles Hill site. Ever since VUI conducted exploratory drilling in the county, several residential wells have been found to have high levels of lead contamination. VUI says they have nothing to do with it, but Hank Davis wants to respond to residents' concerns. Davis will introduce the motion at tonight's Pittsylvania County Board of Supervisors meeting in Chatham.
  • Virginia Tech geochemistry professor Robert Bodnar got a $60,000 federal grant to study the uranium deposit in Chatham. I'm encouraged by the fact that it's federal money and not funded by any dubious sources, which should lend some credibility to whatever he finds. One thing about the article troubled me though:
    Much of his research throughout his career has centered on how mineral and ore deposits form so similar deposits can be found, he said.
     Given the political firestorm that has been the Coles Hill fight, I think the last thing we need is to find even more big uranium deposits.
  • A geologist at the Virginia Museum of Natural History in Martinsville has come out in favor of mining at Coles Hill. Dr. James Beard cited the potential economic benefits for Southside and said the danger posed by the mine is minimal. I'm curious to know if Dr. Beard is the anonymous geologist who responded to several previous Roundups. If that's the case, he's a very intelligent, thoughtful commenter and even though I disagree with him, he's a great addition to this blog. 
That's the roundup after a few weeks of relative silence. I'll update Wednesday with the news from Pittsylvania's BOS meeting and whatever else comes up between now and then.

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