I have owned a home in Buckingham, Virginia for over 35 years. My three children grew up there benefiting from clean air and water and beautiful natural woodlands. They grew up healthy and strong, building forts in the woods and swimming in the Tye and James Rivers. They played under sun and clouds in the day and the stars at night. They knew their neighbors. The carry that love of nature with them everywhere, now in their late thirties and early forties. And so do I, ever grateful for my natural surroundings.
Gold mining in Buckingham makes no sense. And it presents a danger to the natural environment and to everyone who lives in Buckingham - some who go back many generations on the land. Most of the people in rural Buckingham live there precisely because they want to live in a clean and natural environment - away from the city and the pollution. Many live more simple and economically stringent lives - and consider it a fair sacrifice for living in the midst of glorious Mother nature.
Bringing in the pollution and harm to the environment and people's homes cannot be justified. We do not need this gold, and there is not a reasonable return for the community by mining it here. Rather the impact is widely in the negative as seen in the list below of multiple harms to the environment that gold mining will bring:
1) Dewatering of mines impacting water table for miles around
2) Airborne toxins impacting local area
3) Leaching of toxins into groundwater
4) Acid Mine Drainage
5) Catastrophic mine waste (tailings) dam failures
6) VA has no regulations on the use of cyanide
7) Forever toxic sites, leaving the forever burden to the taxpayers
8) Virginia’s rainfall is a huge problem – let alone the climate crisis with increasingly devastating storms
9) Local governments enticed by tax revenue that will never cover the true costs
10) Negligible number of local jobs – most are specialized, imported from elsewhere
I beg you to vote NO NO NO against the mining of gold in Buckingham County. Don't make the poorest county in Virginia even poorer in every way through mining.
Do the right thing for the environment - and for the people you represent, who themselves are simply trying to live decent, clean and healthy lives in the rural countryside of Virginia. Do not let this harm come onto our heads.