With exploration for gold continuing in Buckingham County, a report by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine found Virginia’s current system of regulating gold mining “is not adequate to address the potential impacts” of commercial extraction.
“Virginia’s regulatory framework lacks an adequate financial assurance system, which poses a fiscal and environmental risk to the commonwealth. Additionally, Virginia lacks opportunities for a diverse public to be engaged in permitting processes and a modern system for review of environmental impacts from potential gold mining projects,” concluded the consensus report.
“These and other portions of Virginia’s regulatory framework fell short in comparison to other states, the federal government, and modern best practices,” the authors wrote.
The report, which has been almost a year in the making, was the product of a 2021 law carried by Del. Elizabeth Guzman, D-Prince William.
An earlier version of the legislation would have temporarily banned gold mining until July 2023, but lawmakers stripped that provision out of the legislation following opposition from the forestry and construction industries.
Read more at the Virginia Mercury HERE.
BY: SARAH VOGELSONG – NOVEMBER 1, 2022
Thanks to Sarah and the Virginia Mercury for their good, steady coverage.