The Top 10 Endangered Places – SELC’s List

Blue Ridge

Blue Ridge (Photo credit: Ethan.K)

Just a quick post on the recently released list from SELC – Southern Environmental Law Center, which of course targets the South; however, three out of 10 relate to Virginia,

  • the VA and Tennessee mountains (coal mining)
  • Charlottesville, VA (proposed Route 29 Bypass)
  • Southside, VA (mining)

Here is the article’s link where you can find pictures as well as detailed information on each one of the 10 issues (click each picture).

Top 10 endangered places 2013

Update on Uranium Mining Proposal in Virginia

Those of you who have followed this blog for some time have read some posts about the proposed uranium mining in Virginia, where I will be moving soon to start a farmette.  Well I have been very concerned about this for many reasons – health, Virginia unsuitable climate for mining, a possible scenario for great contamination, and other issues, including our proximity to the proposed site, at only a few miles.

Well, today I am sharing the good news and that is – THE PROPOSAL WAS DEFEATED!  At least for now, but this is great news.  Here is where you can read about it – Uranium Mining Proposal Suffers Major Defeat/Keep the Ban.  I am extremely happy about this, and I am thanking again all of you who voted to keep the ban in uranium mining in Virginia.  I will keep you informed on the latest developments.  If you want to read more on this important issue that affects other states such as North Carolina, since its supply of water comes from Virginia, in part, you can visit the Keep the Ban website.

Uranium Mining and Milling in Virginia is a Dangerous Idea

If the moratorium that has kept a ban from mining Uranium in the Coles Hill area of Chatham – Pittsylvania County, VA – is lifted, may God bless VA weather and the residents who live there (including me when I finally get to move there after restoring the old farmhouse – just five miles away from the proposed site).

Instead of writing  a list about why it is a bad idea, let me leave the reader with a few YouTube videos that I found, which will give you an idea of how dangerous lifting this ban is, and mostly it is all about VA type of weather and hydrology.

The first video will give the reader a bit of history on how this all started.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q6rVUkyq_Wc

About what residents living there will loose.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bL1Ich2dWRw

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_epFdrAIxbY

Huge flood in Coles Hill area – 1996

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F7mcUYAi_O4

North Carolina joins to support the ban and this is why this affects NC.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v_mtFZMf1_w

The last speaker on this video makes a good point

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0nnQ4AmWiL8

The people from Pittsylvania County and beyond do not want the ban to be lifted.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=30giLNF9NpQ

And I leave you with this last video.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q4TKOqLPvmE

If this ban is lifted, living in this small town would be hell.  Just think of the pollutants, the noisy equipment, constant movement of mine vehicles … and just picture the worst case scenario …  May God bless Pittsylvania County, its residents, and all the people beyond this area who will be affected.

Please sign the petition to keep the ban.

http://keeptheban.org/

The Government will Clean it Up – NOT!

Some people, wait, some naive people think that after mining for ore, when the company leaves, and the pits are abandoned, the government steps right in and clean-up efforts start.  Wake Up!  This is not the case; there are many abandoned uranium mines which have not been cleaned up, after many years.  Clean-up efforts have started after more than 20+ years have passed, as with mines in the 40s and 50s, recently being targeted.  Clean-up is expensive in every sense and I guess prioritized as well, and you know how that goes.

Here is an article as an example of these “waiting to be cleaned up” abandoned uranium mines, which are leaking radioactive material in high amounts.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/01/us/uranium-mines-dot-navajo-land-neglected-and-still-perilous.html?_r=1&pagewanted=all

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=abandoned-uranium-mines-a

Uranium mining in North Dakota. South Dakota, Montana and Wyoming (there are many other sites) began in the 60s, and there are still sites oozing of radioactivity, waiting to be cleaned up.  In the mean time, people close to the sites are getting sick and dying.  The issue is not that the government refuses to clean it up, EPA wants to clean but reality says that it comes down to money/funds/budgets and clean-up is very expensive.

http://www.abandonedmines.gov/wbd_um.html

Virginians should start thinking not only about the potential hazards of mining uranium in a state that has propensity to heavy rains and storms, floods … but also, about the time that it would take for clean up  efforts to arrive after the company leaves the site, and this is assuming that everything would go according to plan, regulatory laws, and well, peachy keen.  I am not an expert, but in my eyes, I don’t see a win situation here for Virginia, give or take the economic gain; however, at what cost?  I only see one winner, and they will be long gone before “someone” starts to clean-up the mess.

This is no brain surgery, common sense and other states (dry climate) experiences suggests an outcome.  I pity the governor’s position – a sandwich between the people’s welfare and the state’s potential to become the energy capital of the East Coast (largest uranium deposit in the USA and one of the 7 largest worldwide) – not an easy decision.  People or Money?  But then, what is a state without healthy happy citizens?  Yeap, I can smell the situation, all the way from here at the Jersey shore.

Please, if you care don’t forget to sign the petition to keep the ban on uranium mining permanent.  Here is the link.    http://keeptheban.org/?page_id=38

Remember, today it is Chatham, VA backyard, tomorrow it might be your own backyard.  Yellow Cake is being offered, but this is no birthday party!

How Uranium Mining in VA Affects You Too – Please Sign this Petition

Today’s post is dedicated to the issue of the possibility of uranium mining in Virginia which has the potential to harm the environment statewide and North Carolina.  The problem is that Uranium mining is usually done in dry and arid areas and VA is the opposite.  Not only do they want to open a mine but to have a mill in place as well which doubles the possibility for disaster.  The area of Coles Hill is flood prone which only means that the contamination of the water systems will spread.  Heavy rains, heavy storms are common, and tornadoes are not unheard off, so you have a perfect scenario for the potential of an environmental disaster of huge proportion.  There is potential for contamination of the soil, air, and water, spreading to North Carolina, and once it gets into the food supply (farm goods) it can spread further.  There has been a ban for the last 30 years to prevent the mining of Uranium and it is due to expire now in 2012, soon.

By signing this petition, you will help keep this ban on mining and keep the residents of VA, North Carolina safe.  You will also prevent the possibility of an ecological disaster that will spread further.  Please, sign this petition, follow this link.  Thank you.

http://keeptheban.org/?page_id=38

Please watch this video  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vOGPIfPngSY&feature=player_embedded

An Eco Disaster Waiting to Happen

I can’t say enough today as why my blood is boiling, simply put, “we humans will never learn and if we can, we will sell our souls to the devil for some economic growth, and the heck with the environment!”   Yes, we take gorgeous landscapes, lush flora, and amazing fauna, and turn it into contaminated crap, and I can think of better words to describe it but it wouldn’t be proper for this blog – so I will bite my tongue and swallow my venom.

Suddenly moving to a peaceful, green, and idyllic country town has lost some appeal.  Why?  Short answer – Uranium Mining.  There is a possibility that this could happen in Coles Hill, VA  practically in the backyard of Chatham, VA in Pittsylvania County – the picturesque and historic little town known as the “The Prettiest Little Town in Southern Virginia”  and that description says it all, and this is where I am heading.

Here is a map of the location – the area of Coles Hill in purple

http://www.mapquest.com/maps?city=Coles+Hill&state=VA#!

Here is a link to the independent report done by RTI International, study was funded by the Danville Regional Foundation.

http://www.drfonline.org/news/2011/documents/RTI-Non-tech-summary.pdf

Here is a comparison of Uranium Studies done.

http://www.drfonline.org/news/2012/documents/Uranium-Study-Board-17.pdf

And a more detail view of the study and reports

http://www.drfonline.org/news/2011/20111215-RTI-Uranium-Study.php

I hope that this never comes to be, and I am aware of the need for more jobs in the area, however, if Uranium mining happens,we all know how the story ends, thinking of an alternate ending is naive – and that is all I have to say.

This video says it all

http://www.southernenvironment.org/multimedia/videos/uranium_mining_a_threat_to_virginias_roanoke_river/%22style=%22font-weight: