At the October 17, 2012, meeting in Chatham of Virginia’s Uranium Working Group, the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) discussed the VDH staffing needs and associated costs should the Commonwealth lift the state moratorium on uranium mining and milling. Among other things, the VDH would have to institute an indoor radon monitoring program in the area to establish baseline radon levels. The impact on state resources would also depend on whether Virginia assumes regulation of milling—not only mining—under an agreement with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. The VDH presentation, made by Chief Deputy Commissioner Maureen Dempsey, is available online at the Uranium Working Group’s Web site, http://www.uwg.vi.virginia.gov/links.shtml (scroll down to Public Meeting Documents/October 17 and click on UWG Presentation 10/17/12).
After the VDH presentation, the Working Group answered about 50 written questions submitted by the audience, and a public comment period was held. A detailed account of the October 17 meeting, which was attended by an estimated 200 people, is available at in this article in the 10/24/12 Chatham Star-Tribune: Uranium Working Group focuses on health at Chatham meeting.
The final public meeting of the Uranium Working Group is scheduled for Nov. 27 at 6 p.m. at the Virginia Science Museum in Richmond; the focus of this meeting is to be worker health/safety and emergency preparedness. The group is scheduled to complete its report to the Virginia Coal and Energy Commission by December 1.