Local Commentary

Delegate Scott’s Richmond Report

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 Fairfax County’s annual fair will start Friday at the Fairfax County Government Center near the Fair Oaks Mall. It will include many the elements of a county fair, including food, games, music and perhaps rides.

The fair was initiated in the 1980’s by the Board of Supervisors and continues with the name of Celebrate Fairfax. As in the past, Celebrate Fairfax, begins with a celebration of the “Lords and Ladies” of Fairfax County. Each year each County Supervisor names one woman and one man who has made notable contributions to the community. Those individuals are the Lord and Lady of their district.

Each of award winners is introduced by Peter Murphy, long-time chairman of the Fairfax County Planning Commission, who is the perennial master of ceremonies. In addition, a community spirit award is given to a group or groups that contribute to the continuing spirit of the County and its individual communities. Each district award-winner’s contributions are introduced with their Supervisor—or Chairman Bulova.

The Fair will continue on this coming weekend with many of the activities and performances being by local and regional groups and individuals. Musicians are available free of charge on one of the especially created stages. There are activities and music for all ages, and I recommend taking in Celebrate Fairfax before it ends on Sunday evening.

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Uranium on the front burner

Is Virginia’s uranium mining ban about to end? This week a summary of the key findings from the National Academy of Sciences’ report on uranium mining in Virginia drew considerable attention. The Commonwealth of Virginia contracted with the Academy to examine the scientific, technical, environmental, human health and safety and regulatory aspects of uranium mining, milling and processing as they relate to the Commonwealth of Virginia for the purpose of assisting the Commonwealth to determine whether uranium mining, milling and processing can be undertaking in a manner that safeguards the environmental, natural and historic resources, agricultural lands and the health and well-being of its citizens.”

It appears that a lengthy review and hearing process will succeed the NAS report. The report seems to call for extensive review and discussion, and reminds readers that “extreme natural events have the potential to lead to the release of contaminants if facilities are not designed and constructed to withstand such an event….”

The NAS study calls attention to the threat of water contamination, as well as acid mine drainage and regulatory limitations, and concludes that “if …Virginia rescinds the existing moratorium on uranium mining, there are steep hurdles to be surmounted before mining an/or processing could be established within a regulatory environment that is appropriately protective of the safety of the communities or the people living in them.

In short, Virginia’s “thirty-year moratorium on the mining of uranium is once again in the spotlight.” It appears that a lengthy and complicated review process is likely to result. At least the large deposit of uranium in Pittsylvania County, which desperately needs jobs, will be a focus of various business and environmental interest groups for some time. 

 


Delegate Scott represents the 53rd District in the Virginia House of Delegates. He may be emailed at deljscott@aol.com

 

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