The Virginia NAACP unanimously passed a resolution Monday to support keeping a moratorium on uranium mining in the state.
A company, Virginia Uranium Inc., is looking to persuade legislators to repeal the nearly three-decades ban on mining at its regular session in January.
Tests indicate that about 119 million pounds of uranium — which the company says could be worth as much as $10 billion — are located in Coles Hill, near Chatham, a small town in Pittsylvania County.
“The risk uranium mining poses to our drinking water, air quality and local communities far outweighs the benefit,” said King Salim Khalifani, executive director Virginia State NAACP. “The magnitude of potential impacts on people of color and all the people in Virginia is too great to leave it to chance.”
The state’s Coal and Energy Commission has asked the National Academy of Sciences and the Virginia Center for Coal and Energy Research at Virginia Tech to review whether the uranium can be safely mined.
A full list of groups and localities opposed to mining can be found here.