Virginia Regulatory Town Hall
Department of Energy
Department of Energy
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10/24/22  5:54 pm
Commenter: Katie Whitehead

need for additional SAC meeting and opportunity for public comment

The recent NAS announcement regarding the November 2nd release of the NASEM report on Gold Mining in Virginia describes the report:

This study has evaluated the potential impacts of gold mining in Virginia, including discussions on the geologic and mineralogical characteristics of gold deposits in Virginia and the types of gold mining operations used with comparable deposits; a summary of existing regulatory frameworks and a comparison to other states with current or recently closed gold mining operations; and potential impacts including leaching and tailing management techniques and air and water quality monitoring and regulations.

Though not mentioned, I trust that the NASEM has also determined whether Virginia’s existing air and water quality regulations and existing bonding, reclamation, closure, and long-term monitoring are sufficient to protect air and water quality. Whether our current regulations are sufficient is the fundamental question posed in H.B. 2213.

I am concerned that the State Agency Committee currently plans only one more meeting, on Nov. 3, the same day the NASEM will present its report to the SAC. The expectation stated on the Virginia Energy webpage on gold mining is that the SAC report “responds to, expands upon, or discusses specific topics in the NASEM consensus report.” Surely the State Agency Committee needs more time to digest the NASEM report and to respond, expand, or discuss.

I am also concerned that the SAC currently plans only one more opportunity for public comment and that it is scheduled for the final half hour of the six-hour SAC meeting on Nov. 3. Apparently, citizens will not have a chance to first read and then comment on the NASEM report or the SAC’s written response/expansion/discussion of the NASEM report.

The SAC has less than a month to put together the work group’s final report.

The SAC has more than one day to put together the work group’s final report.

Please use the time available and include the public.

Katie Whitehead
Chatham, VA
CommentID: 195655