As previously reported, the Canadian exploration company, Aston Bay, has been performing exploratory drilling for gold across central Virginia, and advertizing their finds internationally. As one of the most environmentally destructive activities undertaken by humans, modern industrial-scale gold mining saddles host communities, and those downstream, with long-term environmental damage.
The National Academy of Sciences is conducting a statewide study of the likely impacts of such projects. Information about the study and gold mining in general can be found on the NAS’ project website. A link to submit comments can be found to the right of the opening summary. Comments should be submitted as soon as possible, as the NAS will begin writing its draft report in July.
The Virginia Department of Energy (formerly Mines, Minerals & Energy, or DMME) is also interested in receiving public comments on the study. A link to the online comment forum, and other related information can be found here. Comments are due by September 30.
Also, for Buckingham County residents only, a local ordinance has been proposed that aims to protect the health, safety and general welfare of the residents and natural environment of Buckingham County from the effects of large-scale gold mining. To learn more about the proposal and to sign on to the petition to have it presented to the Buckingham County Board of Supervisors, click here.
Finally, for more information on this topic, see the Friends of Buckingham website, and its dedicated page on stopping commercial gold mining in Virginia.