**ALERT FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: August 28, 2012**
Douglass Praises Bi-State Commission Resolution on Uranium Mining
Urges Hurt to support Bi-State Commission with Congressional ban on uranium mining
Chatham, VA – In response to the Bi-State Roanoke River Basin Commission’s resolution to keep ‘harmful’ uranium mining out of the region’s “agricultural and tourism industry in Southside Virginia.” Congressional Candidate Gen. John Douglass USAF ret. issued the following statement:
“Since lifting the uranium ban would put Virginia and North Carolina families at risk, I applaud the Bi-State Roanoke River Basin Commission’s courage to officially speak out against the dangers of uranium mining in the district with a resolution in support of a ban. I’ve urged my opponent to introduce a federal ban in Congress instead of leaving it as “entirely a state issue,” but with a family who stands to make millions from lifting the ban, Congressman Hurt has already voted to block federal safeguards against radioactive uranium dust."
Newsplex: Douglass to Hurt: Ban Uranium Mining Near Residential Areas –
The letter from Douglass, the Democrat who is challenging the one-term incumbent, calls for Hurt to introduce a bill to ban uranium mining within 50 miles of residential areas.
WSLS 10: Candidates spar over uranium mining –
"I urge you to take action in Congress, before the Virginia legislature puts families and farmers at risk, by introducing federal legislation to ban uranium mining near residential communities"
NBC 29: Congressman Hurt Addresses Douglass Claims –
Douglass is sending Hurt a letter asking him to support a federal uranium mining ban which would stop uranium mining within at least 50 miles of populated areas. In the letter, Douglass claims Hurt received more than $3,000 in donations from Uranium Virginia chief executive officers.
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Bi-State River Commission Wants Uranium Ban.
Douglass, Hurt Spar Over Uranium Mining.
Virginia Legislature is Soon Expected to Consider Lifting the Ban.
Hurt Votes Against Farm Dust Amendment Including Uranium Mining in the Clean Air Act.
H.AMDT.905 Amendment (A005) offered by Mr. Waxman. (consideration: CR H8286-8287, H8292-8293; text: CR H8286)
Amendment sought to require that particulate pollution produced from mining activities is not defined as nuisance dust and remains subject to the Clean Air Act.
Hurt Stands to Gain Personally and Politically from Uranium Mining in the District.
Hurricanes and Earthquakes Make Uranium Storage Risky.
In an exhaustive study of uranium mining released in December, the National Academy of Sciences raised some red flags… In its report, the academy said Virginia would face "steep hurdles" in protecting the health of its people and environment if the moratorium was lifted… His concerns, Peter DeFur, a research associate professor at Virginia Commonwealth University] said, are based in part on recent natural disasters in Virginia — an earthquake, tornadoes, a derecho — and how they might disturb huge amounts of radioactive waste that would be left behind at the mining operation for decades. http://m.roanoke.com/mapp/story.aspx?arcID=312130
Transportation Risks of Uranium Mining.
Like coal produced in Southwest Virginia, the uranium mined in Pittsylvania County needs to be transported through populated areas to fuel nuclear power generation plants, the ultimate purpose of uranium mining. While transporting coal through populated areas may be low-risk or risk-free, transporting radioactive material via Interstate 81 and other major highways, or perhaps via railroad, will be a rather high-risk operation
Wismut Mining in Germany Illustrates Severe Risk of Contaminations.
During the active mining period, large amounts of air contaminated with radon and dust were blown into the open air, for example 7426 million m3 (i.e. 235 m3/s) of contaminated air alone at Schlema-Alberoda in 1993. The water was released into rivers and creeks. In the sediments of rivers in the Ronneburg area, concentrations of radium and uranium around 3000 Bq/kg were found, indicating up to 100-fold increases over natural background [Hanisch1994. The quartz dust and radon were responsible for the two most serious work related diseases, silicosis and lung cancer. By beginning of 1997, 14,592 cases of silicoses and 5,275 of lung cancer were officially recognized as work-related disease for miners at the Wismut. It is estimated that there were 200 deadly accidents between 1946 and 1948 and 376 in the years between 1949 and 1964, including 33 miners being killed in a fire on a mine in Schlema in 1955. The total number of deadly accidents including the estimates for the early years is 772. Large amounts of groundwater were pumped out of the mines, to keep them dry during mining operations. The German government estimates the clean-up period at 10 – 15 years, at costs of US$ 9.3 billion. Since no reserves were saved by the former operators, the clean-up has to be funded from the German Federal budget. Until end-1998, 44% of this budget has been spent already.
The Most Radioactive Town in America
The Canonsburg mill site was designated in the 1978 Uranium Mill Tailings Radiation Control Act as eligible for federal funds for clean up. It was the only uranium mill east of the Mississippi River to receive funds. In a $48 million cleanup project, the mill site and 163 nearby properties in Canonsburg were remediated. Residual radioactivity was consolidated into a covered, clay-lined cell at the Canonsburg mill site, which is fenced and posted.
Gen. John Douglass is running for Congress in the 5th District to help Virginia families get a fair chance at a better future after serving our country on President Reagan’s National Security Council and then as President Clinton’s Assistant Secretary of the Navy, before going on to promote air and space policies that grow our economy by creating manufacturing jobs and keeping our skies safe.