Last week, May 25, members of the NAS committee came to the Buckingham Community Center to hear our concerns about industrial gold mining. That information goes into their report to the General Assembly, due December 1 this year. Above, Claire Horan speaks for the Southern Environmental Law Center (SELC). She cautions NAS that “…this study was not authorized to help Virginia welcome in new industry. Rather your report is intended to help VA decide how to respond to industry interests in locating mining operations here…”  **More of this transcript below.**
No one spoke up in favor.
The NAS recording of the 2 hour meeting is available here. It is mostly audio. Scroll down for more videos of commenters. NAS gold mining project web page is here.

After being inspired by these folks, would you (ALL Virginians!)   

Please submit your written comments ASAP to:

  • NAS, as they are wrapping up their study in mid July, to prepare their report. Go to their gold mining page. In the upper right hand corner click on “Provide feedback…” Talking points are here.
  • Also! Please give your input before September 30 (ASAP is good) to the State Agencies Town Hall. For more info click here.

Below are videos of other speakers sharing important perspectives – please like and share!


Heidi Dhivya Berthoud


Mindy Zlotnick


Marie Flowers


Abhaya Thiele


Kenda Hanuman

 


Josh Vana


**Partial transcripts of Claire Horan’s comments. Listen to the video for the complete message.

“…Right now however, I’d like to take a step back from the specific risks and regulatory deficiencies we have here in VA.

Instead, I would like to caution this committee against assuming that its purpose is to provide recommendations for the implementation of gold mining here. After all, as you heard tonight, Va’s legislature passed a bill establishing this study after citizens became aware of gold exploration here in Buckingham County and wanted to protect themselves and other VA communities against the harms of modern gold mining.

 

This study was not authorized to help Virginia welcome in new industry. Rather your report is intended to help Va decide how to respond to industry interests in locating mining operations here. If Va will decide to allow modern industrial gold mining is still an open question. In completing your scope of work evaluating the potential impacts of gold mining in VA and producing a final report with your conclusions and recommendations, please remember that Virginians may decide against allowing industrial gold mining.

 

All options remain on the table including outright bans, moratoriums, or limitations on sitings or processing methods, for example. Please do not skip directly to recommending how mining can be regulated here. We understand that you will not offer a  recommendation for or against, but it is still very important that you do not treat  VA’s acceptance of industrial gold mining here as a foregone conclusion. Thank you for…”

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