Public Comments for: HB250 - Mining and processing of certain minerals and elements; work group to study.
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Last Name: Leyen Organization: Virginia League of Conservation Voters Locality: Richmond

The Virginia League of Conservation Voters supports this legislation because: - This legislation addresses the outdated regulatory framework for commercial metals mining of copper, zinc and lead. - As operations have not occurred in the Commonwealth for many decades, existing bonding, reclamation, closure, and monitoring regulations should be comprehensively evaluated and updated. - This bill does not impact other mining, such as aggregate. Specifically, the bill: - Analyzes current regulations regarding base metals, such as copper, zinc, and lead, that are mined and/or processed using similar techniques evaluated by the state agency committee established as a result of HB2213 (2021). - Requires review of potential factors which could lead to toxic contamination of our water supply, and for any impacts to public health. - Pauses permitting for any large-scale mining of gold, copper, lead, and zinc operations within the Commonwealth until the analysis of mining regulations is complete.

Last Name: Turner Organization: Virginia Conservation Network Locality: Richmond

Comments Document

Members of the House Rules - Studies Subcommittee Committee, on behalf of the Virginia Conservation Network, I respectfully ask you to vote "yes" on HB250. This bill simple asks the Virginia Department of Energy to analyze current regulations regarding base metals, such as copper, zinc, and lead, that are mined and/or processed using similar techniques evaluated by the state agency committee established as a result of HB2213 (2021). I am also attaching additional talking points for your convenience, thank you!

Last Name: Price Locality: Blacksburg

Get the Commonwealth back on track! The US Constitution must be adhered to! No more Lobbyist intervention!

Last Name: DeJesus III Locality: Loudon

I support this bill.

Last Name: Schaefer Locality: Boca Raton

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Last Name: Berthoud Organization: Friends of Buckingham, Virginia Community Rights Network Locality: Buckingham

Thank you for supporting HB250. I see the other commenters have spoken well to this issue. Addressing one of your foremost concerns, there would be no additional funding required in order to incorporate the requests of this bill into the already funded project of HB2213, and the State Agency Committee. To pause permitting of the mining of gold, copper, lead and zinc while this study is conducted makes good common sense. Let's scrutinize what we have before allowing further problems into our state. We know the current regulations are not up to protecting us from modern large scale mining. There are many concerns about large scale mining: dewatering, airborne toxic particulate matter, poisoning of the local groundwater & drinking water downstream, catastrophic waste-holding dam failures, economic devastation to local communities due to the short term and boom & bust nature of metallic mining. One of the most concerning aspects of mining, the use of very toxic chemicals such as cyanide and mercury to separate the metals from the ore - we find that there are no! regulations. That alone should cause an urgent pause. Talk of well paying jobs unfortunately is not well founded. The large mining companies would bring in their own skilled peoples and specialized equipment. Again, since funding may be your primary concern, to pause permitting could save the state from extensive externalized costs. Thanks for supporting HB250. Heidi Dhivya Berthoud, Secretary Friends of Buckingham, President Virginia Community Rights Network

Last Name: Calvert Organization: Virginia Conservation Network Locality: Charlottesville

Comments Document

SUPPORT HB250. Comments attached.

Last Name: Schaefer Locality: Boca Raton

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Last Name: Holmes Organization: Piedmont Environmental Council Locality: Culpeper

On behalf of the Piedmont Environmental Council, we urge you to support HB250. The legislation adds copper, zinc and lead to the current study analyzing the impacts of industrial gold mining and places a temporary pause in permitting for this mining until the study is completed. The commonwealth must ensure our regulatory programs are protective of the public health and our natural resources, especially threats to water quality from acid mine drainage and other harmful pollutants associated with mining and processing. The pause is essential to ensure measures recommended for protection of the public health and environment are in place prior to the commencement of any mining activities. Thank you.

Last Name: Hanuman Organization: Friends of Buckingham Locality: Buckingham

As you address HB 250 regarding Large-Scale Commercial Metals Mining I urge you to consider the cost/benefit to the citizens of the Commonwealth, your constituents. Jim Kuipers, a registered professional engineer in Colorado and Montana, reported to the National Academy of Sciences on HB 2213 on Jan. 19, 2022 that mining company bankruptcies, leaving states with the bill to clean up their pollution, and superfund site designations are the case in 2 out of 4 gold mines in South Carolina. No significant fiscal impact would be anticipated if the Bill utilizes the State Agency Committee formed to fulfill the requirements of HB 2213 (passed in 2021), keeping the Committee intact to review regulations for the additional metals of copper, lead, and zinc . Note the full cost to frontline Environmental Justice communities and everyone in the Commonwealth depending on Virginia waters and those living downstream. Please vote in support of HB 250. Thank you, Kenda Hanuman

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Last Name: Rinaldi Organization: Press Pause Coalition Locality: Buckingham

Please vote in favor of HB250. This is a bill that promotes good governance and does not impact current business. HB250 capitalizes on work already being done by the Commonwealth in its study of the impacts of gold mining. Virginia can utilize the state agency committee established for that study to accomplish the requirements of HB250, because copper, lead, and zinc are mined in a similar manner. This bill asks only that the Commonwealth take measures to prepare for a potential future industry of metal mining, which uses new and different techniques that were not practiced when the current regulations were written. Please vote in favor of this bill. Respectfully, Stephanie Rinaldi

Last Name: Oba Organization: Friends of Buckingham Locality: Buckingham

As president of Friends of Buckingham, I ask that you vote in support of HB250. Industrial-scale mining of copper, lead, and zinc has not been done in Virginia in many decades, but exploration for these metals has recently begun in multiple Virginia counties. HB250 gives Virginia the opportunity to review its regulations for large-scale copper, zinc, and lead mining operations, which could impact the drinking water sources of communities adjacent or downstream of a metals-containing geological belt that crosses the state – including our community in Buckingham. It is crucial that Virginia be proactive in addressing these operations, which in a modern context are new to the Commonwealth. HB250 allows for this by establishing a review of the regulations for industrial mining of copper, zinc, and lead while pausing permits for these metals and gold (whose regulations are currently being reviewed) until the analyses are complete. The bill does not affect any other mining or any current or pending operations. Please vote in support of HB250. Chad Oba, President, Friends of Buckingham

Last Name: Fanning Organization: Chesapeake Bay Foundation Locality: City of Richmond

The Chesapeake Bay Foundation writes in support of HB250. This bill will build upon ongoing work analyzing the sufficiency of Virginia's regulatory programs to protect the Commonwealth's natural resources from the effects of industrial gold mining to also address impacts related to commercial metals mining of copper, zinc and lead, for which exploratory efforts are underway. While this study effort is ongoing, the bill would also provide for a temporary pause in permitting for large-scale mining of gold, copper, lead, and zinc until the study is completed. Studying the potential impacts from these sorts of mining operations will ensure sufficient regulatory programs are in place to protect our natural resources, including water quality, downstream drinking water sources, and the Chesapeake Bay.

Last Name: Lovelace Organization: Press Pause Coalition Locality: Bedford County

I urge you to vote in support of HB250. This bill gives Virginia the chance to employ best practice in regards to large-scale copper, lead, and zinc mining. These operations have not been seen in Virginia for a very long time, and Virginia’s regulations have not been evaluated in light of modern mining techniques for these metals. Further, the bill does not impact business in that it has no impact any other types of mining, and there are no current or pending operations that could be affected. Potentially mineable areas are adjacent and downstream to the drinking water sources of countless Virginians across the state. Metals mining often uses toxic chemicals, like cyanide, in processing the metals, and the impacts from these operations and resulting waste materials on water quality and resources are well-documented. A review of regulations and impacts of large-scale copper, zinc, and lead mining, while pausing permitting until the analyses are complete, is critical. It is also urgent, as exploration for these metals has begun in multiple localities. Again, I ask that you please vote in support of HB250. Stacy Lovelace

Last Name: Sims Organization: Appalachian Voices Locality: Richmond

On behalf of the organization Appalachian Voices, and our members across Virginia, including many of your constituents, I ask you to please support HB250. Addressing the existing, and likely outdated regulatory framework for commercial metals mining of copper, zinc and lead is a crucial step in ensuring the safety of Virginia's drinking water supplies. As exploratory efforts intended for large-scale processing of these metals are now occurring, HB250 would make sure existing bonding, reclamation, closure, and monitoring regulations are evaluated and updated. Of particular concern is the potential impacts from processing of these metals, which can include use of toxic materials, or result in large amounts of waste material. HB250 also provides for a pause on permits for large-scale mining of gold, copper, lead, and zinc until those regulations are analyzed. This does not impact other types of mining such as aggregate, and does not interfere with any current or pending permits. Gathering information and analyzing regulations that protect our drinking water before permits are permissible is good governance, and serves public health. I respectfully ask you to please support HB250 from Delegate Shelly Simonds. Jessica Sims, Virginia Field Coordinator, Appalachian Voices

End of Comments