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Virginia uranium study panel – bias in favour of uranium companies

“What we’re concerned about here is they appear to have hired a group that has only done work for uranium mining companies and that they’re going to go with them behind closed doors and come up with a uranium mining law and a set of regulations,”

Uranium mining foes take aim at Va. study panel, Bloomberg, By STEVE SZKOTAK, 13 June 12, RICHMOND, VA.  Two environmental groups opposed to ending a 30-year state ban on uranium mining in Virginia have raised new complaints about a state panel studying the issue and the hiring of a consultant they say has too many industry ties.

The issues were outlined in a letter sent to Gov. Bob McDonnell and
released Monday by the Piedmont Environmental Council and the Virginia
League of Conservation Voters.

The criticism is aimed at the Uranium Working Group, a multi-agency
effort to examine the regulatory framework and safeguards that would
need to be in place if Virginia lifted a 1982 ban on uranium mining
The panel is not expected to issue a recommendation on an issue the
2013 General Assembly will likely address…..

the complaints from the environmental groups range from a lack of
timely updates on the working group’s website to what it called an
absence of transparency as officials go about their work. Some of the
issues were taken up at an April 4 meeting that left few critics
satisfied.

They also take aim at Wright Environmental Services Inc., which has
been hired by the working group as consultants at a cost to the state
of $513,133. They complain the two-year-old company has a “short track
record” and has too many connections to the mining and nuclear power
industry.

“What we’re concerned about here is they appear to have hired a group
that has only done work for uranium mining companies and that they’re
going to go with them behind closed doors and come up with a uranium
mining law and a set of regulations,” said Rob Marmet of the Piedmont
Environmental Council, speaking in an interview.

“It doesn’t appear to us whether people are going to be able to see
whether the hard questions are going to be asked,” added Marmet, a
senior energy policy analyst for the council………… A National
Academy of Sciences report examining the statewide impact of uranium
mining concluded in a report issued late last year that Virginia faced
steep hurdles to ensure that uranium mining and milling are conducted
safely. … http://www.businessweek.com/ap/2012-06/D9VBL3N80.htm

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June 13, 2012 - Posted by | politics, Uranium, USA

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