I read the comments on this proposal and am not surprised the assumptions commenters make in reference to small-scale mining. Firstly, nobody uses mercury for these small-scale operations, nobody. What happens is the small-scale miner, in the activity of mining a creek scoops up gravels and run them through a sluice box and it traps the heavy items like gold, mercury, discarded trash and lead weights from fishing. The very act of this process removes pollutants from the water ways. It does not "add" anything as some commenters are stating. To compare the small-scale mining in Virginia to the Gold King Mine in Colorado is like comparing an apple to a coffee cup. Nobody is proposing tunneling into a mountain or using toxic chemicals. The mining is on an extremely small-scale using mostly hand carried tools. I would be willing to bet those who oppose the act of small-scale mining have little to no knowledge of how it is performed and the benefits to the environment from the activity. We oppose restricting or prohibiting this activity which science proves it is a benefit to the environment. We'd be happy to educate anyone interested in obtaining the truth about small-scale mining.