Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell( R) is asking the General Assembly to continue Virginia's 30-year ban on uranium mining.
McDonnell wants state lawmakers to hold off on any action permitting uranium mining while a newly created multi-agency workgroup conducts a study on the efficacy and safety of the industry.
The ban has been a subject of debate in Richmond because of an intense lobbying effort by Virginia Uranium Inc. The company is seeking permission to mine a 119 million-pound uranium deposit in Pittsylvania County, Va.
In a statement, the governor says "public safety must be the primary factor in the ultimate determination" on uranium mining. He also says while allowing uranium mining could mean the creation of high-paying jobs, Virginia must make sure mining would not impair the health of residents, or the condition of our environment.