LETTER – Let’s protect what we love

Published 3:28 pm Tuesday, November 9, 2021

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To the Editor:

Examining a few numbers regarding the potential industrial gold mine in Buckingham County is shocking.

44% of industrial pollution in the U.S. comes from metal mining.

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Metal mining is ranked as the #1 most polluting industry in the U.S.

50 million gallons of contaminated wastewater, loaded with lead, arsenic and other toxins, are released by abandoned mines every day.

$2.9 billion was paid by U.S. taxpayers for cleaning up mine waste between 2008 and 2017.

We don’t need more gold. We have 404 years worth of above-ground gold stocks to supply our current technological needs.

There’s a 100% chance of toxins leaching into our drinking water and aquifers, based on other mining operations all over the country (and world).

10 dump trucks full of earth (ore) are required to get enough gold for a one-ounce gold ring. That’s a lot of waste.

Commercial gold mining hasn’t been done in Virginia in 75 years. Virginia’s regulations are not adequate to protect our health and environment from modern, high-tech, industrial mining.

Ore is crushed to dust and treated with cyanide, mercury and/or other toxins. This toxic soup is stored in waste “lagoons” hundreds of acres wide — forever.

This doesn’t sound like a good investment to me.

I just signed a petition asking the Board of Supervisors to consider a new ordinance to protect us from these harms. Find it here: bit.ly/bhamord.

Kenda Hanuman