This article, published recently in Newsletter #132, is by Stephanie Rinaldi, directly impacted neighbor, FoB Gold Committee Co-Chair.
- In March, Governor Northam signed our bill (HB 2213) into law, and that law took effect July 1. Thank you to all those who wrote to their legislators and helped us get it passed!
- In May, representatives of Buckingham and of state-wide environmental groups (“the coalition”) met with representatives of the Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy (now called the Department of Energy, or DOE), the Department of Health, and the Department of Environmental Quality to discuss the work group and the study laid out in HB 2213.
- In June, DOE confirmed they will work with the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) to conduct the study of how gold mining would affect the Commonwealth. The coalition gave input on how that study should be structured.
- In May, Aston Bay announced a new exploration project in Pittsylvania and Campbell counties. They called this project their “Mountain Base Metals Project” and are focusing on copper, zinc, and lead. Mining of these metals is just as harmful as the mining of gold.
- In June, the coalition began exploring options for legislation that will protect the Commonwealth not only from gold mining but also from base metals mining. We will meet with members of potentially affected communities to get their input.
- Every day we try to get the word out, try to let everyone know what is going on and what kind of dangers this gold exploration poses to Buckingham. In June, we set up information tables at several community events, and handed out yard signs and bumper stickers.
Would you be willing to volunteer to sit at an information table at an event in the future? Or if you’d like a yard sign or bumper sticker (donations welcome), please let Hanuman or Stephanie know. They can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
Photo of Stephanie
Friends of Buckingham & Virginia Community Rights Network (VACRN) are sharing the gold mining local outreach. VACRN is focused on the local level to gather support for an ordinance requiring an assessment of the compatibility of metallic mining with the right to freedom from chemical trespass on our bodies, our air, water, and land. Stay tuned!
Corporations have the right to stop us from trespassing on their property. We, as residents of the county, have the right to protect our bodies, air, water and soil from chemical trespass, but it’s up to us to claim that.
The right to do exploratory drilling and /or mining does not give these corporations the right to harm us or our environment.
Which should takes precedence? Our health or the corporate profits?