If past is prelude, there’s no reason to believe those who would explore and develop uranium resources will be good stewards of Virginia’s environment. What we do know is that when they do make common industrial mistakes or worse, we won’t need a map and the damage will be irreparable.
Forget the fact that those on board with the uranium scheme are many of the same fighting the Environmental Protection Agency. Just look at the history and the environmental degradation already extant in Virginia. The contamination of our surface water is extensive. Uranium extraction offers the opportunity to do the same and more for groundwater. This map shows the effects of poor industrial practices on rivers and bays. The proposed process for extracting uranium promises to extend the opportunity for environmental damage to drinking water supplies. At least testing for the contamination will be much simpler; and offer another neat gadget for Brookstone stores to stoke sales.
Just one of the many examples of unintentional industrial degradation is on the South River. For those unfamiliar with the situation there, in the 1930’s and 40’s, a large DuPont plant located in Waynesboro, practicing contemporary efforts to recover mercury from industrial waste unintentionally discharged the metal into the river. DuPont has accepted responsibility and is playing a key role in the effort (see the South River Science Team) to detoxify the river basin. (Not to worry about future damage to the South River: Koch Industries currently operates a portion of the former DuPont plant ) Though the costs of the environmental damage were not paid by the consumers of the products at that time, they have been passed on to investors and customers decades later, just as the costs of the environmental damage from the uranium process will undoubtedly be passed on to the grandchildren we’ve heard so much concern for lately.
You just might be able to save money on nightlights, though. Repurpose that glass of water on the nightstand.