Virginia Regulatory Town Hall
Department of Energy
Department of Energy
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9/21/22  9:17 am
Commenter: Bill Johnson

No large-scale gold mining

Before allowing new gold mining, we need to clean up the hundreds of abandoned gold mines that are polluting Virginia's land and waters. Regulations governing the extraction process have not been updated in decades, and are inadequate to prevent pollution from recurring. Wasting and polluting drinking water just to extract minerals from the ground is not acceptable, given all the uncertainties caused by climate change. Water is precious and becoming scarce throughout the country. Virginia is prone to periods of drought, and wasting it to pull unneeded minerals out of the ground is a sin. Sycamore Creek, a tributary to the James River, is an example of a mining company pulling water without any county oversight; such activities must be stopped. There are health and environmental hazards with metals mining caused by the processes themselves, including exposure and poisoning from cyanide and mercury. Waste materials processing and the waste tailing ponds are susceptible to leaching and spills that will deleteriously impact local and downstream communities when, not if, tailings dams or mining waste depositories fail. Do not resurrect such an environmentally-destroying process, just for money.

CommentID: 128916