I have lived in Buckingham County across from the James river for 5 years. Before that, I lived in Northern Virginia for 30 years. While living in NOVA, I learned about the history of gold mining in Virginia.
Since retiring to Buckingham, my community has been faced with the pipeline, and now gold mining. In a short time, I have been confronted with the possibility that I may have to leave due to decreased property values, contamination or drying of my well due to industrial threats to the the environment. I was drawn to the quiet beauty of this community as a place to build my retirement home. I have been appalled by the apparent indifference of government officials that consider one threat after another to the environment without regard for the long term impact on the residents or the natural surroundings.
Please, please, please do not let a promise of short term gains for the local economy overshadow the long term consequences of modern industrial threats. It is not lost on me that this is the second time in five years that property in a rural community, with lower incomes has had to fight big industry. Yet, when I lived in Northern Virginia, where the gold/pyrite deposits cover a larger area, there was no such consideration. The gold vein runs through rural Stafford, Fauquier and Loudoun counties as well as the urban areas of NOVA. So there are options for access to rural locations that contain gold deposits. Yet we again have to fight. This is an opportunity for our elected officials to fight for our environment.