Letter to the Editor — Another thought on mining

Published 5:35 pm Wednesday, April 13, 2022

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To the Editor:

More people are hearing about the fact that there is a streak of gold running through Buckingham County, and are growing concerned. Not many people know that before the California gold rush much of the gold mined in our country came from Buckingham County. Back then the gold was mined the way we have seen it done in Western movies, by panning in streams and with pick and shovel.

Today, industrial scale mining typically takes thousands of acres. Horrible chemicals like cyanide are used to separate the gold particles from the ore and lots and lots of water.

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Most of us are on well water, and this would draw down from the water table for miles around. The toxic chemicals would get into our groundwater, our air and our land. The dams holding back the massive amount of toxic mine waste will fail “some day” and it will end up in the James River. Think about all the communities downstream that get their drinking water from the James. All living things need clean water.

I have seen over many years of going to meetings of our Buckingham Board of Supervisors that they do not see the real costs of doing business with issues that can be dangerous to our citizens.

Here in Buckingham County there are many concerned citizens who are circulating a petition that will ask the Supervisors to pass an ordinance to protect us from harmful mining practices. If one of these “good trouble makers” approaches you, please lend an ear and sign the petition. Or sign online here: bit. ly/bhamord.

Marie Flowers