Public Comments for 01/22/2021 Rules
HB1789 - Auditor of Public Accounts; audits of certain political subdivisions.
Last Name: Cox Locality: Virginia Beach

Please don't ruin our lives and State ! Thank You

Last Name: Blount Organization: Virginia Association of Planning District Commissions Locality: Charlottesville

Under current Virginia Code § 30-140, authorities, commissions, districts and similar entities, whose governing body members are not elected by popular vote, are required to have an audit performed and filed with the Auditor of Public Accounts within three months of the end of a fiscal year. A three-month timeframe for meeting this requirement is very challenging. Within this tight turnaround, these entities must close their books and schedule review of financial statements by the auditor, who then must prepare the audit report, present it to the applicable governing board for approval, and then finalize the audit. Thus, this bill proposed to allow five months, instead of three, for such audits to be completed and sent to the APA. (Note that local governments have until December 15 to submit their financial data to the state).

Last Name: Lynn Locality: Gloucester point

I tried to check off as many as I could understand 🙃why not just get to work for the money we pay

Last Name: Bell Locality: Roanoke

HB1789 I support political audits HB 1990 I support Criminal Justice HB 2208 I DO NOT support statue removal, you have too many mixed feelings on this issue and by continuing removal of said statues, you isolate a percentage of the populations beliefs which is MUCH larger than you think..The ideal solution is simple...If you want to remove ANY statue, You either remove ALL or none... HJ 516 Yes I do 100% support becoming a part of the convention of states, I am well aware of this bill... HJ 530 I fully support decriminalization of certain substances hence marijuana and any other low level form of narcotic substance, I support this on both state and FEDERAL level... HJ549 I do not support this, we need to open the doors of truth to the people first, I have a panel of 36 worldwide doctors condemning WHO for dishonesty about Covid, and the fact it has a temperate design of Dec through April ... HJ573 At this point I 100% support that any vaccine be voluntary only....It is injustice to require immunization Wheres too much static as to whether this is a truly harmful pandemic or just a politically motivated stunt to incite fear.... HR237 I will support holding anyone responsible who is guilty of this Covid Conspiracy and to where it began and by who it originated even if it was a Harvard shipped virus, keep it open to hold only those accountable that truly are the guilty HR 238 I do NOT support The American People decide who gets appointed and where and THIS needs to be changed....

Last Name: Bryant Locality: Henrico I would

I would like to know what the bills have in them. Don't want anything in them hidden like they do in Washington.

HB1978 - Legislative Staff Development Fund; created, effective date.
Last Name: Cox Locality: Virginia Beach

Please don't ruin our lives and State ! Thank You

Last Name: Lynn Locality: Gloucester point

I tried to check off as many as I could understand 🙃why not just get to work for the money we pay

Last Name: Bryant Locality: Henrico I would

I would like to know what the bills have in them. Don't want anything in them hidden like they do in Washington.

Last Name: Besa Organization: Sierra Club Virginia Chapter Locality: North Chesterfield

Sierra Club wishes to express its support for HB1978 Legislative staff development fund , and HJ525 placing a statue of Barbara Johns in the National Statuary Hall of a nation's Capitol

Last Name: Haines Locality: Vienna

Learning that ALL OTHER Virginia State Employees already have this benefit makes it common sense to expand to the staff who make our legislature work. Consider increasing the lobby fee above the $400 is my only other comment.

Last Name: Pannabecker Organization: Clean Virginia and Virginia Organizing Locality: Montgomery County, Blacksburg

Regarding HB 1978 - Reid - Legislative Staff Development Fund; established: I urge you to fully support this bill to support the education and professional development of the legislative staff our government relies on to function. A better educated staff means better policy outcomes for all of us. Only 12 states charge less in lobbyist fees, and bringing Virginia in-line with the rest of the country on lobbying fees has the further benefit of restoring trust in government and signaling that Virginia's General Assembly represents the people first, not corporations. It is important to me that our Virginia legislative staff have the funding they need to conduct research, maintain up to date training, devote time to ethics reviews and considerations, and more. This bill will help to accomplish this.

HB1990 - Criminal justice legislation; racial and ethnic impact statements.
Last Name: Green Locality: Covington

Chairperson and Members of the Committee, I support HB1990, however I believe the racial and ethnic impact statement should be inclusive of poor persons who are white. History has resoundingly shown us that “We The People” did not include slaves and although slavery was abolished, a criminal justice system was developed to unjustly enslave them in a different way. The Thirteenth Amendment’s exception gave former slave owners (who became legislators who enacted criminal laws) that right if a former slave committed a crime that they were duly convicted of. Over time, this exception has extended its arms and grabbed poor whites, also.

Last Name: Thompson Locality: Bitetourt

I do believe we need to have a convention of the states to get a rain in on the federal gov. They have gotten out of hand we need to give the rights back to the people instead of trying to take them all away. The constiution starts out as We the people of the united states of America That used to mean something we used to put American first and the United states was a proud nation. We now put other country beforw the health and well being of our on peopkw3and our own country what has happen to the Unites States of America. Other countrys laugh at us and they control elections we need to take our country back. We need to get back to taking care of our own first , before we send million and millions to other countrys because we want to be on there good side or for political favors. We need to make America a country that stands on her own 2 feet not forty other countrys feet. If we can no longer take care of our one then what is to stop another country from taking what they want the English did it to the Indians so what is to stop china Russia from just taking what thwy want because we do not take care of our own. I beg of you to pkease vote yea on this and savw our country before it is to late for owe grandchildren great grandchildren we have a duty to our children to keep this the home of the free and not the home of the sacred and shamless because we have nothing left for We the People. Thank you and god bless you allno matter what god you pray too.

Last Name: Thompson Locality: Bitetourt

I grew up in Fairfax va and let me tell therw was no equal between races, i will not lie but let me tell you my family was poor and i had holes in my clothes had to get free lunches . Let me tell you i only seen a couple of black kids that holes in there clothes we where best friends because neither black nor white that had nice clothes would play with us i can tell you that my parents got less support to help take care of my and my sister than most black kids my mother applied for food stamps for herself my sister and me they told my mom she qualified for 6 dollars doe food stamps and shw had no job and my father had left her and my sister and me. Thank God for my granddad becausw he took us in and he took care of us and had a house redone for us. We gotno help from any agency. So please don't ever tell me whites get more or they are treated they treated better than blacks because we sure was not any part of the equation . I have had some very dear black people that i am honored to call my friends and even family. So please don't tell me all whites are racists , when i went into the military i had to give racial discrimination classes not because i was racial , but because i wasbeing discriminated against. So again please stop saying there is only on side of this because there is 2 side and all men make there own life as long as they live on the rught side of the law and yes i was discriminated against by the police because as they said i was white trash. I make plenty of money and i made a life for myself and my children and they had the best of everything and they went to there friends houses and there friends came to our and yea some where black i raised my kids that color doesn't make a person a person makes there color. That is all i will say. God bless American and please quit trying to tear it down we the people are who this country is and what happened almost 200 yrs ago can not be changed but what happened 150 yrs ago can happen again if you keep saying that all whites discriminate because that is a lie. Please people open your eyes because our history is not our future unless you make it that way. So please I beg of you quit making this one sided there are 2 sides and most of it depends on who has the money and how they represent themselves not the way other force them too. Please look at the big picture is all i say there is racism everywhere if you keep bringing it up and running everyones nose in it. Thank you

Last Name: Cox Locality: Virginia Beach

Please don't ruin our lives and State ! Thank You

Last Name: Jones Organization: Central Virginia Chapter APRI Locality: Henrico

HB 1990 is a long overdue bill. So many times the well intended legislation passed by the Virginia General Assembly has produced certain unintended consequences in communities of color and diversity. This bill is a good start in helping the members to see the other affects their proposed laws can have on the Commonwealth's citizens. The Central Virginia Chapter A. Philip Randolph Institute asks for your support and funding of HB 1990. Thank-you, Kirk Jones

Last Name: Emineth Organization: Year Locality: Williamsburg

These young kids are being taught things already that should be no part of any ciriculam. All this transgender crap and how America is a terrible racist world should be gone along with the ither nonsense. Please treat our children like the innocent children they are and should be. Just remember your days of going to school, remember how it was so simple and innocent and how we said the plesge of allegiance and we were taught just simple things like Math, Science, History and English. I understand the world is more complicated than back then, but cant we just leave all the other bullcrap for adults to figure out and stop putting pressure on our children.

Last Name: Emineth Organization: Year Locality: Williamsburg

So we just remove something because the "character" of someome. Well I guess MLK with his plagiarism and infidelity should never be explained or even looked at. I understand that the two are not in no means the same but there are things that people in this countrys past that are not admirable but do we just erase everything. It wouldn't be as bad if it were examined and only the worst of the worst be taken down but when you start with one it has done nothing but get every persons feelings involved and then we have chaos and the true meaning is lost. Whats next, the Lincoln Memorial ,let's just get rid of all of it because sooner or later you guys will destroy what this country was built on, and if you guys would stop shouting from the rooftops how racist and terrible this country is maybe we can move on and go to school and get a job and follow the rules....simple. Everyone has the same opportunity, so stop telling them they don't and maybe they will start getting back to the basics of hard work and taking care of their families.

Last Name: Emineth Organization: Year Locality: Williamsburg

This country is not racist and just because people say this does not make it true. I have an extensive history with the courts, jails and prisons and my experience has been just the opposite. I went to prison for one year for driving without a license. There were black people who were given less time for felonies that are way more extensive and harsh. When you get to prison you clearly see where the racism should be targeted, and that is not where you think it is. Black people run the jails and prisons and that goes for staff and inmates, and black people are given way more privledge because of the color of their skin. I am so sick of people saying the police and everybody in America is racist because the black race has far more ways to advance than white people. Being a minority has many advantages but none for white people, so where is the racism???? Because some people may not like black people, well I have been many many many places where black people hate white people. It's on both sides so let's stop pretending that all white people are racist. Where I work is also a great example, when we have to call the police for a disturbance, white people are taken to jail and the black people are "talked to." If you guys would spend all that time you do on this crazy notion that America is racist, and stop telling everyone every second of the day, maybe people wouldn't have a problem with it. You guys shout it from the rooftops without living in the real world, because I do live in the real world and both sides there is racism. Do you really think that black people don't use this to their advantage, every black person that I am friends with laugh at you guys and say what else can they give us. You guys are gullible in their eyes and they are alot tougher than what you think so stop all this poor black people bullcrap.

Last Name: Sharkey Locality: Petersburg

Vote "yes" on HB1990! It is PAST TIME for VIRGINIA to be critically investigate the potential impacts, intended and unintended, that criminal justice legislation may have on racially marginalized populations. Thank you Delegate Aird for carrying this important legislation!

Last Name: Kent Organization: ACLU People Power Fairfax Locality: Great Falls

Support HB1990 Racial & Ethnic Impact Statements Who we are: ACLU People Power Fairfax is an independent grassroots organization that advocates for equal justice for all members of the community, including undocumented immigrants, regardless of race or ethnicity. Our primary goals are to end local and state government’s voluntary cooperation with ICE and to correct practices and policies that support systemic racism in our law enforcement. There are over 4,000 People Power volunteers in Fairfax. Our efforts reflect the views of our members, not necessarily those of the ACLU Virginia affiliate. Advancing Racial Justice through Public Policy HB 1990 allows the Chair of the House Committee for Courts of Justice and the Chair of the Senate Committee on the Judiciary to request that the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission (JLARC) prepare racial and ethnic impact statements for up to 5 criminal justice related bills each legislative session. A racial and ethnic impact statement will use available data to outline the potential effects a bill will have on racial and ethnic disparities within the Commonwealth. An Unequal System Black Americans experience more frequent stops, searches, and arrests by police, while also facing higher rates of pre-trial detention, and ultimately harsher sentences than similarly situated white people. Black Virginians comprise about 19% of the population, but they accounted for more than 40% of all arrests in 2019. More than half – 55% – of all people in Virginia’s prisons are Black. Inequitable policies lead to unbalanced outcomes. It will take deliberate anti-racist actions to halt and reverse the trends and create a more equitable justice system in Virginia. An Opportunity to Advance Equity A racial and ethnic impact statement will be a critical tool for Virginia legislators to evaluate and consider the potential disparate impact of proposed criminal justice legislation. Similar to a fiscal impact statement or fiscal impact reviews for the impact of legislation on state and local budgets, a racial and ethnic impact statement will provide background analysis about how a proposed bill will impact various populations in order to inform lawmakers and assist with enacting legislation that will not worsen discrimination and inequity. It is easier to modify legislation than it is to reverse a law once it is enacted. Evaluating potential disparities prior to a bill being enacted and implemented will create a proactive opportunity to advance racial equity rather than waiting to try to reverse effects. Support HB 1990 Progress in Other States • At least seven states have implemented mechanisms for the preparation of similar assessments for legislation with bipartisan support. And several more states have recently considered legislation. • Legislation with impact statements that determined neutral effects or reductions in disparate outcomes were more likely to pass than legislation that was predicted to increase disparate outcomes. The state can help prevent seemingly neutral criminal justice policy from having harmful outcomes. Adopting racial and ethnic impact statements proactively promotes the well-being of people in Virginia and is a strong step in advancing equity in the state.

Last Name: Lynn Locality: Gloucester point

I tried to check off as many as I could understand 🙃why not just get to work for the money we pay

Last Name: Bell Locality: Roanoke

HB1789 I support political audits HB 1990 I support Criminal Justice HB 2208 I DO NOT support statue removal, you have too many mixed feelings on this issue and by continuing removal of said statues, you isolate a percentage of the populations beliefs which is MUCH larger than you think..The ideal solution is simple...If you want to remove ANY statue, You either remove ALL or none... HJ 516 Yes I do 100% support becoming a part of the convention of states, I am well aware of this bill... HJ 530 I fully support decriminalization of certain substances hence marijuana and any other low level form of narcotic substance, I support this on both state and FEDERAL level... HJ549 I do not support this, we need to open the doors of truth to the people first, I have a panel of 36 worldwide doctors condemning WHO for dishonesty about Covid, and the fact it has a temperate design of Dec through April ... HJ573 At this point I 100% support that any vaccine be voluntary only....It is injustice to require immunization Wheres too much static as to whether this is a truly harmful pandemic or just a politically motivated stunt to incite fear.... HR237 I will support holding anyone responsible who is guilty of this Covid Conspiracy and to where it began and by who it originated even if it was a Harvard shipped virus, keep it open to hold only those accountable that truly are the guilty HR 238 I do NOT support The American People decide who gets appointed and where and THIS needs to be changed....

Last Name: Bryant Locality: Henrico I would

I would like to know what the bills have in them. Don't want anything in them hidden like they do in Washington.

Last Name: Huertas Organization: Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy Locality: Richmond City

The Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy supports HB1990 as a positive step toward advancing racial equity in our criminal justice system.

Last Name: Martin Organization: New Virginia Majority Locality: Richmond

New Virginia Majority Supports HB1990 (Aird). A fair and just criminal justice system reduces the harms and violence experienced by people-of-color and working-class communities and creates more opportunities for practices of public accountability and community-based alternatives to incarceration. This legislation provides a valuable tool for ensuring that as criminal justice legislation comes before the Virginia General Assembly, efforts are taken to decrease and avoid perpetuating racial and ethnic disparities in how the criminal justice system differently impacts the livelihoods of Virginians. We thank the Delegate and we encourage the committee to vote in support of this legislation. Thank you. Dominique Martin, Policy Research Analyst at New Virginia Majority.

Last Name: Porter Organization: The Sentencing Project Locality: Washington

Established in 1986, The Sentencing Project works for a fair and effective U.S. criminal justice system by promoting reforms in sentencing policy and addressing racial injustice in the criminal legal system. . We thank Delegate Aird for her leadership on HB 1990. CHANGING POLICIES TO ADDRESS DISPARITIES HB 1990 would improve policymaking for proposed sentencing laws and other laws impacting criminal justice law and policy by informing law makers of the potential impact on racial justice and racial disparities in a system known to perpetuate and expand such disparities. Six states – Iowa, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Oregon, and New Jersey – have implemented mechanisms for the preparation and consideration of racial impact statements; in addition, the Minnesota Sentencing Guidelines Commission develops racial impact statements without statutory guidance. DATE OFFERS CLEAR EVIDENCE OF RACIAL DISPARITIES Virginia is among 12 states found by The Sentencing Project to have prison population that is more than fifty percent Black. Also, in Virginia, 1 in 27 men is in prison. IMPLEMENTATION OF RACIAL IMPACT STATEMENTS Racial impact statement policies are key to acknowledge the persistence of racial disparity in sentencing law and policymaking and to identify clear actions to minimize and eventually remove those disparities. Following the adoption of racial impact statements three steps are important to challenge racial disparities in criminal legal policies. First, a commitment by lawmakers to request the statements as outline in HB 1990. Second, reviewing the statements to inform policymaking and the consideration of proposed sentencing laws. Third, a commitment by lawmakers to leverage racial impact statements in law and policy discussions with justice stakeholders ranging from formerly incarcerated advocates and their family, criminal justice practitioners, victim’s groups, faith leaders, and others on public safety policy proposals and their impact on Virginia’s justice system. Racial impact statements should be viewed as a mechanism to help guide the development of sound and fair law and policy, but they are not an impediment to enacting changes in the law. That is, they represent one component of the discussion regarding sentencing policy, but only in conjunction with other relevant considerations. In some cases, lawmakers might receive analyses indicating that white residents or other racial/ethnic groups would be disproportionately impacted by a proposed sentencing change, but conclude that public safety concerns override these considerations. While proposed changes in sentencing policies are the most obvious decision-making point at which unwarranted racial disparities might emerge, a host of policy decisions at other stages of the criminal justice system can affect the racial/ethnic demographics of the prison population as well. These include adjustments to sentencing guidelines, discretionary safety valves applied to mandatory time served requirements, “truth in sentencing” and other policies that affect length of stay in prison, parole release and revocation policies. Conceivably, a racial impact statement policy could cover one or more of these decision-making points. The Sentencing Project applauds HB 1990 and is eager to see it advance in this Committee.

Last Name: Silcox Organization: RISE for Youth Locality: Richmond

RISE for Youth supports this bill.

Last Name: Royster Locality: Midlothian

Over 150 local governments across the country have made declarations to address racism. However, only five states have declared racism a public health crisis and none are located in the South. In contrast to Virginia’s role as the state that housed the capital of the Confederacy, the commonwealth now has the opportunity to lead the country into a new era in which everyone is valued equally and has equitable opportunity to live a long, healthy life. Virginia must declare racism as a public health crisis.

HB2208 - Harry F. Byrd, Sr., statue; removal from Capitol Square.
Last Name: Cox Locality: Virginia Beach

Please don't ruin our lives and State ! Thank You

Last Name: Emineth Organization: Year Locality: Williamsburg

These young kids are being taught things already that should be no part of any ciriculam. All this transgender crap and how America is a terrible racist world should be gone along with the ither nonsense. Please treat our children like the innocent children they are and should be. Just remember your days of going to school, remember how it was so simple and innocent and how we said the plesge of allegiance and we were taught just simple things like Math, Science, History and English. I understand the world is more complicated than back then, but cant we just leave all the other bullcrap for adults to figure out and stop putting pressure on our children.

Last Name: Emineth Organization: Year Locality: Williamsburg

So we just remove something because the "character" of someome. Well I guess MLK with his plagiarism and infidelity should never be explained or even looked at. I understand that the two are not in no means the same but there are things that people in this countrys past that are not admirable but do we just erase everything. It wouldn't be as bad if it were examined and only the worst of the worst be taken down but when you start with one it has done nothing but get every persons feelings involved and then we have chaos and the true meaning is lost. Whats next, the Lincoln Memorial ,let's just get rid of all of it because sooner or later you guys will destroy what this country was built on, and if you guys would stop shouting from the rooftops how racist and terrible this country is maybe we can move on and go to school and get a job and follow the rules....simple. Everyone has the same opportunity, so stop telling them they don't and maybe they will start getting back to the basics of hard work and taking care of their families.

Last Name: Jennings Locality: Fredericksburg

Our Constitution us our law of the land and without it we are a third world nation. It should be defended to the max and any that are against our Democracy should be excorted to the border. Racism in America is reversed, grant you there are bigots but not only white. Blacks are burning rioting and murdering their own and calling it because of white privilege??? They are allowing their slave masters(that they vote for) to keep them in a a Socialist poverty. Set the clock to one time and forget it. If I have to be somewhere it doesn't matter if the Sun is up or down I go.

Last Name: Hughes Locality: Massanutten

Yes, racist Byrd statue removed Yes, end daylight savings time Apprentice programs are important

Last Name: Bell Locality: Roanoke

HB1789 I support political audits HB 1990 I support Criminal Justice HB 2208 I DO NOT support statue removal, you have too many mixed feelings on this issue and by continuing removal of said statues, you isolate a percentage of the populations beliefs which is MUCH larger than you think..The ideal solution is simple...If you want to remove ANY statue, You either remove ALL or none... HJ 516 Yes I do 100% support becoming a part of the convention of states, I am well aware of this bill... HJ 530 I fully support decriminalization of certain substances hence marijuana and any other low level form of narcotic substance, I support this on both state and FEDERAL level... HJ549 I do not support this, we need to open the doors of truth to the people first, I have a panel of 36 worldwide doctors condemning WHO for dishonesty about Covid, and the fact it has a temperate design of Dec through April ... HJ573 At this point I 100% support that any vaccine be voluntary only....It is injustice to require immunization Wheres too much static as to whether this is a truly harmful pandemic or just a politically motivated stunt to incite fear.... HR237 I will support holding anyone responsible who is guilty of this Covid Conspiracy and to where it began and by who it originated even if it was a Harvard shipped virus, keep it open to hold only those accountable that truly are the guilty HR 238 I do NOT support The American People decide who gets appointed and where and THIS needs to be changed....

Last Name: Bryant Locality: Henrico I would

I would like to know what the bills have in them. Don't want anything in them hidden like they do in Washington.

Last Name: Besa Organization: Citizen Locality: Chesterfield County

Support HB2208 - For more than a decade I walked past the statue of Harry F. Byrd, Sr on my way to lobby the General Assembly or the Administration. Each and every time, I thought about how inappropriate was to have a statue at our capital commemorating the life of the man who led Massive Resistance efforts in opposition to civil rights and resulting in the closing our many of our public schools to avoid integration. While I did not suffer personally from school closures, I did attend years of segregated schools from the 2nd through the 7th grade while attending public schools in Norfolk and then Princess Anne County, now Virginia Beach. I didn't realize it then, but I now know the woeful conditions of the education provided to my African American brothers and sisters. The stain and embarrassment of this sorry chapter of Virginia history can not and should not be erased. However, tributes to individuals like Harry Byrd who led the Massive Resistance campaign should be removed from places of honor.

Last Name: Besa Organization: Citizen Locality: Chesterfield County

Support HB2208 - For more than a decade I walked past the statue of Harry F. Byrd, Sr on my way to lobby the General Assembly or the Administration. Each and every time, I thought about how inappropriate was to have a statue at our capital commemorating the life of the man who led Massive Resistance efforts in opposition to civil rights and resulting in the closing our many of our public schools to avoid integration. While I did not suffer personally from school closures, I did attend years of segregated schools from the 2nd through the 7th grade while attending public schools in Norfolk and then Princess Anne County, now Virginia Beach. I didn't realize it then, but I now know the woeful conditions of the education provided to my African American brothers and sisters. The stain and embarrassment of this sorry chapter of Virginia history can not and should not be erased. However, tributes to individuals like Harry Byrd who led the Massive Resistance campaign should be removed from places of honor.

Last Name: Johnson Locality: Richmond

Removing or adding statues does not erase or create our history, but who we choose to honor with a statue does help tell a story, the story of our values. Both the US Capitol and our Virginia Capitol should tell a story of people who stood up for others and fought to make Virginia a more equitable place. Therefore, I support HB2208 and HJ525.

HB2213 - Gold; Secretary of Natural Resources, et al., to study mining and processing.
Last Name: McGugan Locality: Chesterfield

I urge you to support a moratorium on permits for commercial gold mining until a study of all the dangers in gold mining is completed.

Last Name: Stewart Locality: Albemarle

I urge you to support HB2213, for a moratorium on gold mining, and to provide for appropriate funding to study potential impacts. There are significant environmental justice issues, as well as broad ecological / human health issues, that must be thoroughly studied and considered.

Last Name: gardino Locality: buckingham

I urge you to support this Bill. The importance of enough funding to study the effects of gold mining in my area and also the importance of allowing enough time for a thorough study whose result can be relied on is very important to me.

Last Name: Piatt Locality: Charlottesville

As a constituent, I am writing in favor of this bill to issue a moratorium on gold mining until the effects of this practice on nearby residents, especially those of Union Hill and Yogaville, can be accurately assessed. At this time, the risk of arsenic contamination from gold mining requires further research before the practice can be supported. We must ensure the safety of all residents. Given the ways in which environmental factors have historically had more adverse effects on our Black and Brown neighbors, our responsibility here is (at least) twofold — 1) to enact antiracist legislation that protects communities of color who have historically been marginalized and 2) to embody care for the environment at a time in which the need to do so has become not only readily apparent but also absolutely critical for the well-being and future of all. Please support HB2213.

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

I am glad to see the subcommittee passed HB2213. I urge you to do the same. Please be sure to fund this study of gold mining properly, so that it is done well and we can rest assured that we are taking care of business by investing appropriately in the wise counsel and investigations of the designated agencies and stakeholders. An ounce of prevention is worth many pounds of cure. Thank you.

Last Name: Hanuman Locality: Buckingham

I urge you to support HB2213. This bill is crucial to protect communities that could be impacted by gold mining. Please note the maps of the many Senate and Delegate districts within the Virginia Gold-Pyrite Belt. GoldPyriteBelt_ImpactedDistricts_HoD: https://www.dropbox.com/s/qh2xdmklhe2cvqw/GoldPyriteBelt_ImpactedDistricts_HoD.pdf?dl=0 GoldPyriteBelt_ImpactedDistricts_Senate: https://www.dropbox.com/s/lor97ijyjcww0k4/GoldPyriteBelt_ImpactedDistricts_Senate.pdf?dl=0 The moratorium is necessary for the time specified in this bill to allow for thorough research into the potential costs and threats of gold mining to water, air, and nearby and downstream communities. Can Virginia regulations provide adequate protections for the Virginians who would be put in harm’s way by the mining process? This bill gives the opportunity and time for impacted community members, the Council on Environmental Justice, and representatives from Native communities to be heard. Please support HB2213.

Last Name: Chapman Locality: Charlottesville

Currently, Union Hill and Yogaville face the imminent threat of arsenic contamination due to gold mining nearby. This needs to be studied to determine the extent of exposure to toxic chemicals of the residents.

Last Name: Scheckler Organization: VO Locality: Draper, VA

Please support this bill. The people in the are at risk of arsenic poisoning from the ongoing gold mining in the are. Union Hill is a small dominatly Black town and deserves our support. Yogaville is a place I have visited and enjoyed.

Last Name: Rivera, Aileen Locality: Henrico County

I urge the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Agriculture and Natural Resources to support House Bill 2213 from Del. Elizabeth Guzman to implement a temporary moratorium on gold mining and assign state agencies the task to study the impacts that a large-scale gold mine, like the one being proposed in Buckingham County, which is being proposed at the banks of the James River - a major drinking water source for many communities, including Richmond, to the east of this proposed project. Gold mining is a highly toxic and dirty process. I can't believe that in the year 2021 we're still having to even debate this known fact as history has shown how communities have been damaged by such mining. Allowing this gold mining to proceed without any research is a blatant disregard for people's health , livelihood and environment. Please support HB2213.

Last Name: Keller Locality: Richmond

Dear Members of the Subcommittee. HB2213 is absolutely necessary to protect Virginia communities and waters from commercial gold mining. Virginia is targeted by international mining companies because of our lax environmental rules and frankly lack of experience regulating large industrial gold mines. That is why we need the moratorium and study to update Virginia regulations to reflect the current mining techniques. It take 20 tons of rock to produce and ounce of gold. The process uses millions of gallons of water and produces toxic leachate that must be managed in perpetuity. May it be the pleasure of the committee to move this bill forward. Thank you.

Last Name: Stiefel Locality: Buckingham

Please support of HB2213, a moratorium & study of gold mining; to be fully funded and to take the time requested to do a good job, so that Virginia can understand what the impacts would be to our waters, our community. Thank you.

Last Name: flowers Organization: myself Locality: Dillwyn, Buckingham County

Dear Representatives of Virginia, I hope that you will approve Bill 2213 concerning a moratorium and study of gold mining. The information i have learned recently from different experts and from TV channels such as Smithsonian and other science channels have educated me on the perils of mining and especially gold mining. Gold mining is as detrimental to the environment as uranium. Please do a study on gold mining to get all the facts. The people of Virginia need you to protect them. In my opinion, gold mining is far, far more dangerous than any pipeline. Thank you for your time and service to our beautiful state. Sincerely, Marie Flowers PO Box 1155 Dillwyn, Va. 23936 434-315-0152

Last Name: Hunsinger Organization: Friends of the Rappahannock Locality: Fredericksburg

Friends of the Rappahannock (FOR) supports HB 2213 carried by Delegate Guzman that ensures that the impacts of commercial gold mining to air, water, and public health are studied before permits are issued. The pyrite gold ore body runs through the Rapidan and Rappahannock River watersheds. Gold mining tailings often contain elevated concentrations of toxic heavy metals such as arsenic, cadmium, lead, mercury, and others. This study is essential to understanding how gold mining would impact our waterways and the surrounding communities.

Last Name: day Locality: Buckingham

I support the moratorium . Germany, Czech Republic, Hungary and Costa Rica have such bans, as well as the US states of Montana and Wisconsin and several Argentine provinces. Cyanide use in most countries is strictly regulated, to reduce the risk of significant environmental damage or death through misuse or mishandling. These two simple facts indicate an obvious need to study thoroughly potential problems and establish appropriate regulations for the industry which do not yet exist here in VA. Failure to do a thorough study and establish cyanidation regulations before any mining begins could result in serious long term consequences to the environment, specifically the James River, which would result in very long term and possibly disastrous economic impacts to the state. Robert Day

Last Name: Esparza Locality: Richmond

Encouraging the passage of this bill for the Virginia Council on Environmental Justice and appropriate stakeholders, including experts in mining, hydrology, toxicology, and other fields; environmental organizations; representatives of potentially affected communities in localities with significant deposits of gold; and indigenous communities in such counties to further study gold mining impacts.

Last Name: Tuttle Locality: Bath

I urge you to support HB 2213. The last thing our state needs is more extractive, dangerous, and polluting projects. All of our energy and legislation needs to go toward creating a livable planet for future generations and increasing quality of life for ALL Virginians. Please act to preserve our home and stop gold mining before it causes irreparable harm. Thank you.

Last Name: Rinaldi Locality: Buckingham

HB2213 is a bill that will benefit the entire commonwealth, which has never hosted large-scale, modern gold mining. This type of mining is very different from coal mining, and requires its own set of regulations. In order to understand what sort of regulations, we first must understand the industry. Open-pit gold mines can be hundreds of feet deep, and thousands of acres wide. They can have severe and drastic effects on local groundwater, livestock, and agriculture. HB2213 would provide the commonwealth with enough time to conduct studies on the effects of gold mining, and to make regulatory determinations based on the results of those studies. This bill is important to me, personally, because my home is adjacent to land where gold exploration is already going on. But the bill is important to my fellow Virginians, as well, because of the Gold Pyrite belt that cuts across the commonwealth. The gold industry has their eyes on us, and before we allow them to set up shop here we need to be sure we understand exactly what that would mean for Virginians. Please support the funding required for HB2213, and please vote to pass the bill when you are given the chance. Thank you for your time.

Last Name: Zlotnick Locality: Buckingham

Please support a moratorium & study of gold mining in Virginia. This needs to be to be fully funded as determined by DEQ, Dept. of Health and DMME. Allow them to take the time requested to do a good, job, so that Virginians can fully understand what the impacts would be to our water and our communities.

Last Name: Hanuman Locality: Buckingham

I urge you to support HB2213. This bill is crucial to protect communities that could be impacted by gold mining. Please note the maps of the many Senate and Delegate districts within the Virginia Gold-Pyrite Belt. ---below The moratorium is necessary for the time specified in this bill to allow for thorough research into the potential costs and threats of gold mining to water, air, and nearby and downstream communities. Can Virginia regulations provide adequate protections for the Virginians who would be put in harm’s way by the mining process? This bill gives the opportunity and time for impacted community members, the Council on Environmental Justice, and representatives from Native communities to be heard. Please support HB2213. Thank you. Senate district map: https://www.dropbox.com/s/lor97ijyjcww0k4/GoldPyriteBelt_ImpactedDistricts_Senate.pdf?dl=0 Delegate district map: https://www.dropbox.com/s/qh2xdmklhe2cvqw/GoldPyriteBelt_ImpactedDistricts_HoD.pdf?dl=0 or: https://docs.google.com/document/d/16tsdOnCOkGJeeyavlh5IyPDrcXx6SDQdE-nSCW1khtE/edit

Last Name: Lovelace Locality: Bedford

I urge you to support HB2213 – the study and moratorium on commercial gold mining. The potential threats from commercial gold mining are numerous to the communities and watersheds in and downstream of the gold/pyrite belt that spans the entire state of Virginia. Exploratory drilling to prospect for potential commercial gold mining operations is happening in Virginia as we speak, so it is imperative that this bill and the study and related moratorium it mandates move forward now. It is also crucial that environmental justice be taken into account and representatives from potentially impacted communities be given the ability for input as this bill provides for. Again, please support HB2213.

Last Name: Sims Organization: Appalachian Voices Locality: Richmond

I write on behalf of the non-profit organization Appalachian Voices, to ask that you support HB2213. As gold-mining operations could introduce irreparable damage to groundwater via leaching of harmful materials, and the waste produced via gold mining contains many toxins including lead, mercury and cyanide, we support a thorough study of potential impacts to public health and the environment, with a moratorium during that time or review. HB 2213 allows Virginia to press “pause” and allow appropriate scrutiny of existing regulations, identify places where protections are insufficient, and improve the stakeholder engagement process. Please support HB 2213.

Last Name: Berthoud Organization: Friends of Buckingham Locality: BUCKINGHAM

Good morning! I urge you to please support full funding for HB2213, the gold mining moratorium study. It is important that this study is done now, done well, which includes being given the full amount of time as recommended by the DMME, DEQ & VDH. Due to the gravity of the well known impacts of modern day large scale gold mining elsewhere, we feel a moratorium is in the very best interests of the Commonwealth. Gold exploration has been going on in Virginia for the last 4 years without local authorities being aware of it. The gold pyrite belt runs from southern to northern Virginia. In fact it runs from Georgia to Canada. The impacts to Virginia could be vast and devastating, as many watersheds could be impacted, including the drinking water for millions. Modern large scale open pit gold mining is vastly more impactful than the pan, pick and axe methods of the 1850s. The EPA lists metal mining as the #1 most toxic of industries. The current trend of other known gold mines of externalizing the costs of doing business leads to superfund sites that the local communities, those downstream, and really, the whole state pay for in many ways, and for generations to come. We need the moratorium and the study to buy us time for more people to learn about the true costs of gold and to make educated decisions. We can and we must do business smarter. A lot smarter! Thank you!

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

On behalf of the Virginia Conservation network, I would like to reiterate our support of HB2213. This legislation will give the Department of Minerals, Mines and Energy, Department of Environmental Quality and Virginia Department of Health until July 1, 2023 to complete a study on the potential environmental and health impacts that gold mining could have on the Commonwealth. This is a necessary piece of legislation to ensure that we are protecting the health and rights of Buckingham County Residents and other downstream communities.

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

Good morning! I urge you to please support full funding for HB2213, the gold mining moratorium study. It is important that this study is done now and done well as gold exploration has been going on in Virginia for the last 4 years without local authorities being aware of it. The gold pyrite belt runs from southern to northern Virginia. In fact it runs from Georgia to Canada. The impacts to Virginia could be vast and devastating, as many watersheds could be impacted, including the drinking water for millions. Modern large scale open pit gold mining is vastly more impactful than the pan, pick and axe methods of the 1850s. The EPA lists metal mining as the #1 most toxic of industries. The current trend of externalizing the costs of doing business leads to superfund sites that the public pays for in many ways, and for generations to come. We need the moratorium and the study to buy us time for more people to learn about the true costs of gold and to make educated decisions. Thank you for making the sage decision to fully support this bill.

Last Name: Lucy Locality: Herndon

I am writing in support of HB2213 because I believe it is important that the Commonwealth study the challenges posed by gold mine operations and develop plans for the future responsible use of our natural resources. Gold mining is substantially different from aggregate mining operations. The pause in permitting gold mines that would be created by this legislation only affects gold mine permits during the proposed time period. Virginia has little to no experience with the oversight of gold mining in recent years. It is important that the Commonwealth have time to study the best way to oversee the process and mitigate the numerous potential hazards posed by this unique type of mining. A pause in permitting gold mines would have no impact on other types of mining or quarrying operations in the state. HB2213 will serve to make sure that the citizens and environment will be protected now and in the future. It would be irresponsible of the Commonwealth to allow gold mine operations to begin before the study and appropriate regulatory adaptations are complete. I ask that you appropriate the funding for HB2213 to protect our state.

Last Name: Rinaldi Locality: Buckingham

HB2213 is a bill that will benefit the entire commonwealth, which has never hosted large-scale, modern gold mining. This type of mining is very different from coal mining, and requires its own set of regulations. In order to understand what sort of regulations, we first must understand the industry. Open-pit gold mines can be hundreds of feet deep, and thousands of acres wide. They can have severe and drastic effects on local groundwater, livestock, and agriculture. HB2213 would provide the commonwealth with enough time to conduct studies on the effects of gold mining, and to make regulatory determinations based on the results of those studies. This bill is important to me, personally, because my homea is adjacent to land where gold exploration is already going on. But the bill is important to my fellow Virginians, as well, because of the Gold Pyrite belt that cuts across the commonwealth. The gold industry has their eyes on us, and before we allow them to set up shop here we need to be sure we understand exactly what that would mean for Virginians. Please support the funding required for HB2213, and please vote to pass the bill when you are given the chance. Thank you for your time. Stephanie Rinaldi Buckingham, VA

Last Name: VonOhlen Locality: Newport News

I've read and support Del Guzman's bill to place a moratorium on Gold Mining until it can be studied to determine what environmental impacts and/or public health impacts. Please help keep Virginia lands and citizens safe by delaying any gold mining operations until their impact can be carefully studied and understood. Thank you for your work on behalf of the citizens of the commonwealth. Patricia VonOhlen

Last Name: Keller Locality: Richmond

I write in support of HB2213. Virginia has not had a commercial gold mines since the 1940s and they are nothing like that envisioned by the Canadian exploration company currently operating in Buckingham County. They compare their findings to the Haile mine in South Carolina which is a huge open pit mine with all of the fraught environmental and economic downsides of a boom and bust industry. Like virtually every gold mine, the Haile mine has released contaminated waste into the environment, affecting surface and possibly ground waters. Virginia's regulatory regime for mining is not equipped to deal with all of the issues of modern open pit mining that includes cyanide leach pits or vats. We must have complete information before making policy decisions about this enterprise. May it be the pleasure of the committee to approve this bill. Suzanne Keller Richmond, VA

Last Name: Day Locality: buckingham

The proposition to study gold mining in VA may seem unusual, since these mining techniques under consideration are primarily seen in the west in deserted landscapes. Canadian miners sniffing around gold mining prospects in the heart of VA does not bode well for those of us who call this home. In fact gold mining, using open pit methods prefers a lower water table with less rainfall, since higher water tables found in our area increase management issues when the mine is functioning. Constant flooding from shallow aquifers can be problematic both in keeping the pit dry and by reducing available water in the surrounding aquifer. In fact, the abundant water that grows trees and crops would be severely impacted for a much larger distance than the footprint of the mine itself. Large rain events can cause extra problems with containment of chemicals used in processing. This case is one where a little research into the long term effects of chemical extraction of gold from ore using cyanide will pay the state back many times over When it prevents long term damage and expense in managing these effects for generations to come.

Last Name: Cox Locality: Virginia Beach

Please don't ruin our lives and State ! Thank You

Last Name: Mattioli Locality: Charlottesville

Please vote for a moratorium on gold mining to allow for time to study the impacts to the drinking water of potentially millions of Virginians! An exploratory company has already found gold in Buckingham County. They say their find will lead to large-scale mining. Modern metal mining is the nation’s #1 toxic polluter. Because Buckingham was the target of previous industry projects like the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, we know that a company who comes to this Environmental Justice community to open a mine will not have our best interests in mind. Please enact a moratorium on gold mining in Virginia. Thank you.

Last Name: Bryant Locality: Henrico I would

I would like to know what the bills have in them. Don't want anything in them hidden like they do in Washington.

Last Name: Ross Locality: Chesapeake

Please support House Bill 2213 to stop the proposed Buckingham County gold mine. State agencies need time to investigate and establish safeguards on how an open-pit gold mine on the banks of a major water supply would impact our environment and public health. The possibility of open-pit gold mine being established in Buckingham County is very concerning. Gold mining on a large scale is an incredibly toxic process, and one of the dirtiest extractive industries in operation. With only small quantities of gold found in every ton of earth and rock removed, the process leaves behind large volumes of solid and liquid waste laden with harmful heavy metals. The immediate and long term impact to people and the environment is extremely severe. I'm hearing the Virginia has little to no regulation for this kind of gold mining. If this project proceeds, there are few if any remedies in state code to protect nearby residents and our clean water resources from the toxic byproducts produced during the mining process. Let's put the brakes on this. Thank you for your consideration.

Last Name: Keller Locality: Richmond

Ms. Chair and Members of the Committee, I write in support of HB2213. A Canadian company has been conducting borings in Buckingham County to determine if there is sufficient gold to warrant large scale open pit mining. Gold mining is an inherently dirty enterprise, you would be hard pressed to find an active mine where there has not been release of toxics into the waters and lands around the mine. Virginia has not had a large scale commercial gold mine in nearly a century. Modern cyanide leaching techniques allow the extraction of gold from rock, it takes nearly 20 tons to make an ounce of gold, and creates vast tailings and leach ponds that are hazards to nearby people, animals, and waters. Most gold mined in the United States is exported. Once again Virginia is seen as a ripe location to engage in q dirty extractive industry by a foreign company because of a weak and industry friendly regulatory regime. We must do a better job of protecting communities and the environment from this type of activity. I do hope you will pass the bill. Thank you, Suzanne J. Keller Richmond, Va

Last Name: fareedi Locality: herndon, virginia, united states

my name is kamran and i'm grateful for being alive :)

Last Name: Becker Organization: none Locality: Roanoke

We ALL need Clean Water! A Canadian company, seeking to fly under the radar and take advantage of Virginia’s weak or non-existent regulations surrounding gold mining, has proposed building a massive, open-pit gold mine in Buckingham County, near the historic community of Union Hill and the James River – a drinking water source for many communities, including Richmond, to the east of this proposed project. If built, the people of Union Hill, Buckingham and everyone downstream would be in harm’s way. Gold mining on a large scale is an incredibly toxic process, and one of the dirtiest extractive industries still conducted today. With only a few specks of gold found in every ton of earth and rock pulled out of the ground, the process leaves behind large volumes of solid and liquid waste laden with harmful heavy metals known to negatively impact human health and our environment. And if this project proceeds, there are few if any remedies in state code to protect nearby residents and our clean water resources from the toxic byproducts produced during the mining process. I urge you to support House Bill 2213 to stop this project and give our state agencies the time they need to research how an open-pit gold mine on the banks of a major water supply would impact our environment and public health.

Last Name: Lovelace Locality: Bedford

I urge you to support HB2213. This bill is crucial to protect communities that could be impacted by gold mining. The threats of gold mining to water, air, and nearby communities are well-documented. At the very least, a study including impacts specific to the geology, water systems, and climate of Virginia is critically needed to determine the extent of harms to the water and health of nearby communities and those downstream to commercial gold mining operations, and to determine if Virginia regulations can provide adequate protections for the Virginians who would be put in harm’s way by the process. Further, impacted community members, the Council on Environmental Justice, and representatives from Native communities must be given the opportunity to weigh in, and this bill provides for that. Again, I urge you to support HB2213.

Last Name: Lazaron Locality: Keswick

As your constituent and as a human, I respectfully ask you to stop this life and environmentally endangering project. I ask you to give state agencies time to study the environmental and public health impacts of large-scale gold mining by passing House Bill 2213 from Del. Elizabeth Guzman. I ask you to consider the drilling on an exploratory basis and touting of Virginia’s complete lack of regulations to the Canadian investors and shareholders of the mining company that is already impacting the environmental integrity and presenting a life endangering threat to the citizens of Buckingham and everyone, all species downstream . Your choice whether of not to pass House Bill 2213 from Del. Elizabeth Guzman will have an immediate and multi-generational all species and environmental impact. I know of nothing more essential for the quality of all life than the quality of water, soil and air. Thank you for your authentic consideration of this request to pass House Bill 2213 and authentic , responsible leadership on behalf of the all life and the environmental integrity necessary to the well-being of everyone. With respect, Polly Lazaron

Last Name: Force Organization: none; retired geologist Locality: Prescott AZ

Re Aston Bay property, Buckingham Co.--I am a retired USGS geologist with extensive experience in Virginia. I am not an expert on this particular tract, but I am experienced with the 1969 pollution of the James River by mining operations at nearby Piney River (see my USGS Prof. Papers 959H and 1371). I am concerned that Aston Bay is quite a small company, presumably with limited assets, and its intended mine could cause far more damage than its assets could cover. Gold from open-pit mines is usually leached with toxic chemicals that would pollute aquifers, and the nearby James River itself could be polluted even by normal operations, much less breakout flood effects on leach fields.

Last Name: Whitehead Locality: FREDERICKSBURG

I urge you to support House Bill 2213. It is crucial that we pause a toxic gold mining project that will affect Union Hill communities. We need to give Virginia's agencies enough time to adequately research how an open-pit gold mine on the banks of a major water supply would impact the environment and the public health of nearby communities. I urge you to put equity and environmental justice first by supporting this bill.

Last Name: Finley-Brook Organization: Department of Geography and the Environment, University of Richmond Locality: North Chesterfield

Dr. Mary Finley-Brook - support for HB2213 I have taught Environmental Studies at the University of Richmond since 2006. I have more than two decades experience reviewing social, economic and ecological impacts of Canadian gold mining operations. There is no such thing as a ‘clean’ or sustainable open pit gold mine; the water pollution can be expensive to remediate if the regulatory process is inadequate. I am concerned about environmental racism. Canadian mining companies have a reputation for work in areas with regulatory gaps and weaknesses and for targeting communities of color. Aston Bay has picked two sites for exploration - the indigenous territory of Nunavut, a semi-autonomous region in the far north of Canada, where regulatory agencies are poorly integrated and oversight is poor, and Buckingham County, Virginia. Aston Bay does not have a proven track record in Canada as operations are relatively new and the frozen terrain slows development. If Virginian gold mining moves forward without expertise in our regulatory agencies, I fear the state government will be on the hook financially to either train or hire experts in modern mining technology and science in state agencies or will end up paying to remediate ecological damage or for water systems/delivery due to the history of mines producing and leaving toxic waste. Since there are environmental justice communities impacted, and there is a pattern of racism in the mining sector, I expect DEQ and others will be required to oversee extensive review to make sure disproportionate harm does not occur. I have conducted research in Buckingham, which could be most impacted with the first gold mining. I am concerned households are reliant on well water and there are many wetlands, streams and rivers. These connect to the James River. I live downstream. One of the sources of water where I live with my children in Chesterfield is the James, so constituents such as myself care about heavy metal contamination upstream in rural areas. The Commonwealth could end up with dangerous contamination (i.e., from cyanide, mercury, arsenic or other toxic elements) is particularly harmful to babies, children and pregnant women. Heavy metals do not degrade easily so they persist for a long time causing harm. Pollution from mines is dangerous to livestock and can enter crops. Biomagnification can occur. Chemicals will spread throughout the food chain, including to game species people hunt and consume. Risk in Buckingham may be higher because of the proposed use of brownfields and former mining areas; processes could release prior contamination. Mining uses large quantities of water, meaning it is not available for other uses, such as farming and household uses. The water discharged from mining operations contains harmful chemicals and is not safe for other productive uses. Mining contributes to sedimentation, which causes property damage and ecosystem degradation. Vast quantities of tailings containing the chemicals used to extract gold as well as heavy metals must be treated and stored carefully to prevent leaching. A network of groundwater monitoring wells would be necessary to assess preventive measures and provide an early warning system. More sustainable mining methods are expensive and will not be used unless agencies require them. HB2213 will allow DMME, DEQ and VDH to study impacts and review existing protections.

Last Name: Myers Locality: Virginia Beach

A Canadian company, seeking to fly under the radar and take advantage of Virginia’s weak or non-existent regulations surrounding gold mining, has proposed building a massive, open-pit gold mine in Buckingham County, near the historic community of Union Hill and the James River – a drinking water source for many communities, including Richmond, to the east of this proposed project. If built, the people of Union Hill, Buckingham and everyone downstream would be in harm’s way. Gold mining on a large scale is an incredibly toxic process, and one of the dirtiest extractive industries still conducted today. With only a few specks of gold found in every ton of earth and rock pulled out of the ground, the process leaves behind large volumes of solid and liquid waste laden with harmful heavy metals known to negatively impact human health and our environment. And if this project proceeds, there are few if any remedies in state code to protect nearby residents and our clean water resources from the toxic byproducts produced during the mining process. I urge you to support House Bill 2213 to stop this project and give our state agencies the time they need to research how an open-pit gold mine on the banks of a major water supply would impact our environment and public health. Gold mining on a large scale is an incredibly toxic process, and one of the dirtiest extractive industries still conducted today. With only a few specks of gold found in every ton of earth and rock pulled out of the ground, the process leaves behind large volumes of solid and liquid waste laden with harmful heavy metals known to negatively impact human health and our environment. With nearby residents relying on a clean aquifer for their drinking water supply, and with this project located near the James River that supplies major populations centers like Richmond with their water, this project has the potential to be a huge threat to our health and clean water. Gold mining hasn’t taken place in Virginia in any significant volume since before the California gold rush – and our laws and regulations reflect this reality. Moving forward now is a recipe for disaster, with the citizens of Union Hill and Buckingham County again on the frontlines of what has the potential to be an environmental catastrophe. We can’t let this happen – act now and let your lawmaker know that our health and clean water are more important than a foreign company’s dividends.        

Last Name: Griffin Organization: New Virginia Majority Locality: Richmond

New Virginia Majority Supports HB2213 (Guzman): Prior to allowing the gold mining industry to receive permits and begin new operations, conducting a thorough investigation into the potential implications of gold mining and how to strengthen the state’s regulations and guidelines as it relates their industry practices is vital to upholding Virginia's recent commitment to environmental justice. The analysis required in this legislation will assist the rural, Native, and Black communities within the region of the state targeted for these sorts of mining operations in understanding the immediate public health, environmental, economic, and safety risks that may occur in their local community and guide the included Secretariats in the prevention and mitigation of these potential adverse outcomes. We also support the inclusion of the Virginia Council on Environmental Justice as an advisory body to this study. We thank the Delegate for uplifting this urgent environmental justice issue and we encourage the committee to vote in support of this legislation. Tyneshia Griffin, the Environmental Policy Research Analyst at New Virginia Majority.

Last Name: Livesay Locality: Eggleston

Please support HJ 2213. A Canadian mining company should not be able to develop a huge open-pit gold mine without any adequate regulation in place. No permit should be issued for this proposed project without adequate study of the potential environmental damage. It threatens to become yet another polluting extractive injury adding to the environmental inequities already suffered by poor and minority communities such as Union Hill, a town founded by freed slaves. I am asking the Virginia legislature to pass this crucial bill. Since gold mining has not taken place in our state since the 19th century, our current regulations do not begin to adequately address the environmental and public health impacts of a large open-pit gold mine. In addition to the direct destruction caused by open-pit mining, extracting the gold produces toxic waste including heavy metals that could wreak havoc on the water quality of the James River and the drinking water of surrounding and downstream communities, including Richmond. Virginia should be leading the way in protecting and restoring biodiversity, improving air and water pollution, and addressing environmental injustice. An open pit mine developed to profit a foreign corporation exploiting a gap in our laws will only create yet more damage to our environment and our citizens. Sincerely, Laura P. Livesay

Last Name: Sims Organization: Appalachian Voices Locality: Richmond

I write on behalf of the non-profit organization Appalachian Voices, to ask that you support HB 2213. As gold-mining operations could introduce irreparable damage to groundwater via leaching of harmful materials, and the waste produced via gold mining contains many toxins including lead, mercury and cyanide, we support a thorough study of potential impacts to public health and the environment. HB 2213 allows Virginia to press “pause” and allow review of existing regulations, identify places where protections are insufficient, and improve the stakeholder engagement process. Please support HB 2213.

Last Name: Spring Locality: Williamsburg

Please move ahead with the study of mining and processing and consider the effect of these industries on our environment and the unjust disproportional effects on our minority and economically disadvantaged communities. These industries must be held accountable for safe operations and environmentally appropriate clean up and restoration of all areas affected by their operations. Mining and processing may be seen as providing jobs, but there are other ways to provide good jobs which are less intrusive to our environment. We must put the long term good of our state’s environment and our citizens’ health over short term profits and dangerous low paying jobs. Let’s focus on more environmentally sustainable industries and safer, better paying jobs for our citizens. Thanks for all your good work for the benefit of all Virginians.

Last Name: Rubio Organization: myself Locality: Richmond, VA

A Canadian company, seeking to fly under the radar and take advantage of Virginia’s weak or non-existent regulations surrounding gold mining, has proposed building a massive, open-pit gold mine in Buckingham County, near the historic community of Union Hill and the James River – a drinking water source for many communities, including Richmond, to the east of this proposed project. If built, the people of Union Hill, Buckingham and everyone downstream would be in harm’s way. Gold mining on a large scale is an incredibly toxic process, and one of the dirtiest extractive industries still conducted today. With only a few specks of gold found in every ton of earth and rock pulled out of the ground, the process leaves behind large volumes of solid and liquid waste laden with harmful heavy metals known to negatively impact human health and our environment. And if this project proceeds, there are few if any remedies in state code to protect nearby residents and our clean water resources from the toxic byproducts produced during the mining process. I urge you to support House Bill 2213 to stop this project and give our state agencies the time they need to research how an open-pit gold mine on the banks of a major water supply would impact our environment and public health.

Last Name: Van Wingerden Locality: Fredericksburg

Please stop this gold mining project in its tracks and give state agencies time to study the environmental and public health impacts of large-scale gold mining by passing House Bill 2213 from Del. Elizabeth Guzman. Virginia needs regulations in place!! Thank you!

Last Name: Williams Locality: Albemarle

I am an internal medicine physician who has practiced medicine in the Buckingham County and Albemarle County communities for over 25 years. The chemical pollution from gold mining includes toxic elements such as arsenic, lead, mercury, cyanide, as well as other pollutants. High levels of these chemicals poison the soil, ground water, streams, and rivers, not only near the mine but extending well beyond the mine area. These chemicals enter the food chain and affect plants, fish, other animals, and humans. They can cause cancer and neurologic problems as well as lung, liver, and kidney dysfunction. Most concerning is the effect on pregnant women, fetuses, and children. High levels of lead, mercury, and arsenic can cause premature birth, low birth weight, birth defects, and developmental neurologic problems which can lead to lower IQ’s and learning disabilities. And this exposure does not end when the mining ends. The waste left behind continues to pollute the area for decades and will affect residents’ health for years to come. For these reasons, please support HB2213 which will allow a complete study of the potential environmental and health impacts that gold mining will have in the Commonwealth. This is very important to protect the health of Virginia’s citizens.

Last Name: Miller Locality: Richmond

Gold mining is one of the dirtiest extractive industries resulting in tons of solid and liquid wastes full of heavy metals. Heavy metals negatively impact human health. It is inconceivable that we would trade our water supply for a few golden baubles. It is environmental injustice to allow a foreign company to destroy land near a traditional black freeman's town. I urge you to support Delegate Guzman's bill HB2213.

Last Name: Dennis Locality: Buckingham

Exploratory drilling for gold in Virginia is happening as we speak, and went on for years without the knowledge of the local community. Commercial gold mining is extremely toxic and a threat to the health, water, and air of communities across Virginia, and is currently threatening Union Hill and Buckingham County, who already had to endure being targeted for the now-canceled Atlantic Coast Pipeline. House Bill 2213, which would establish a moratorium on permits for commercial gold mining until a study of all the dangers of gold mining is completed, is crucial to protect Virginia communities. I moved to Buckingham to get away from business and to live a peaceful life. After the pipeline was defeated, I thought my well water was safe and Buckingham's Board of Supervisor's again not listening to the people have now made it legal for core sampling instead of shutting down a company who was drilling illegally. Please help us stop them. Rhonda Dennis

Last Name: Keenan Organization: Goose Creek Association and VALCV Locality: Fauqier

Virginia needs to develop up to date regulations for gold and other mining to protect our rivers and streams. Many Virginians depend on these waters and the aquifers beneath them for drinking water for themselves and their livestock. Polluting them with mining runoff and the exposed toxic components of drilling residue (arsenic, etc.) needs to be contained to the degree that surrounding waters are never impacted. Gold mining could occur throughout the mountain ranges and foothills of Virginia, so this is an issue throughout the state.

Last Name: Spring Locality: Williamsburg

Please move ahead with the study of mining and processing and consider the effect of these industries on our environment and the unjust disproportional effects on our minority and economically disadvantaged communities. These industries must be held accountable for safe operations and environmentally appropriate clean up and restoration of all areas affected by their operations. Mining and processing may be seen as providing jobs, but there are other ways to provide good jobs which are less intrusive to our environment. We must put the long term good of our state’s environment and our citizens’ health over short term profits and dangerous low paying jobs. Let’s focus on more environmentally sustainable industries and safer, better paying jobs for our citizens. Thanks for all your good work for the benefit of all Virginians.

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

On behalf of the Virginia Conservation Network, I ask that you support HB2213, which will give the Department of Minerals, Mines and Energy, Department of Environmental Quality and Virginia Department of Health until July 1, 2023 to complete a study on the potential environmental and health impacts that gold mining could have on the Commonwealth. This is a necessary piece of legislation to ensure that we are protecting the health and rights of Buckingham County Residents and other downstream communities.

Last Name: Lanham Organization: VTCA Locality: Culpeper

Dear Members of the House Rules Committee, The Virginia Transportation Construction Alliance (VTCA) represents over 300 organizations that make up the Transportation Construction Industry in Virginia And VTCA’s Aggregate Producers Members represent over 90% of all the metal/nonmetal mineral production in the Commonwealth. The Aggregate Producer Members of VTCA support the study of HB 2213, with one amendment. We recognize there are valid community concerns about the impacts of gold mining and encourage the Commonwealth to further study the process, however we do not believe it is necessary to issue a statewide prohibiting of certain mining permits until 2024. We believe localities currently have the tools to manage the issuance or denial of permits. While none of VTCA’s Members are gold mine operators, this legislation, if passed would be detrimental to the mining industry as a whole. Delaying permitting of mining operations to conduct studies is unjust legislation to operators that may currently be in the process of permitting operations, adding undo costs and delays to permit approvals. Aggregate is an essential component in everyday life. Uses for aggregates range from infrastructure construction, house & building construction, erosion control, medicines, agriculture, and pollution control to gravel for driveways. Again, we ask Members of the House Rules Committee to support HB 2213 with an amendment to strike lines 29 – 31.

Last Name: Berthoud Organization: Friends of Buckingham Locality: BUCKINGHAM

My name is Heidi Dhivya Berthoud. I ask you to please support HB2213, which calls for a moratorium on gold mining in Virginia, and a study of the impacts and existing protections in place. I am the secretary for Friends of Buckingham. For 6 very long years, we labored to oppose the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, a very impactful, polluting, dangerous and economically unjustified project that was rightfully stopped. Large-scale gold mining operations would be new to the Commonwealth and present a unique risk to communities and the environment. In particular, gold mining typically involves large quantities of cyanide, a toxin that is harmful to humans and wildlife. The history of gold mining around the world is dire. One important purpose of the moratorium and study in HB2213 is to assess whether Virginia’s existing regulations will protect human health and the environment from this type of activity. Many of Virginia’s current mining regulations date back to the 1800’s. They also do not address environmental justice. In 2020, the General Assembly declared that it is the policy of the Commonwealth to promote environmental justice and ensure that it is carried out throughout the Commonwealth, with a focus on environmental justice communities and fence line communities. We know that polluting industries would not be permitted, if the externalized and true costs of doing business were properly and rightfully accounted for. We ask that proper and realistic assessment is done; that the taxpayers are not left with the extensive costs of clean up and ruination of our health and drinking water. Thank you for taking a clear look at this.

Last Name: Hanuman Locality: Buckingham

I ask that you support Delegate Guzman's HB 2213 moratorium on gold mining in Virginia. After learning that exploratory drilling for gold was happening near my neighborhood, I reached out to the Buckingham County Zoning Administrator, Nicci Edmondston. She learned that no one in the county administration knew of it. Her research uncovered the fact that the driiling was not permitted and therefore prohibited. Not only was the county unaware of the several years-long exploratory drilling, but basically no one I've spoken with about open pit gold mining has any idea of what's involved. Transparency and accountability are needed regarding such an industrial possibilty which is documented in the western US, and globally: https://www.earthworks.org/issues/mining/, as causing severe environmental and economic harms. Please support the HB 2213 moratorium to allow for research before permitting modern, large scale gold mining in Virginia.

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

My name is Chad Oba and for the last 6 years I have served as president of Friends of Buckingham. During the time that we were trying to defend our homes, health and resources from a pipeline and compressor station, a Canadian company was doing exploratory drilling on land within the same aquifer as the Union Hill neighborhood where my husband and I live. We share the same aquifer as those who would be more immediately impacted, a distance of about 5 miles away. There is a historical African American church, the Warminster Church, in the neighborhood where the exploratory drilling has taken place. We feel a strong alliance with them as we share the same fate if the drilling leads to a modern gold mine. We feel that once more it is people of color who will bear the devastating impacts of a highly polluting industry that gold mining presents for anyone unlucky enough to live near one. Indeed most people are forced to give up their homes and move away from these types of mines. Please let me remind you that the General Assembly declared that “it is the policy of the Commonwealth to promote Environmental justice and ensure that it is carried out throughout the Commonwealth, with a focus on environmental justice communities and fence line communities." The tailings produced in the extraction process introduce many heavy metals into our environment such as arsenic, cadmium, mercury and others. Enormous cyanide ponds are created that can be up to a mile across. The whole process is extremely deadly to all forms of life, including humans and put our water and the water of those downstream at extreme risk. The location here where the drilling has taken place is quite close to the James River which supplies water for millions of people. The gold pyrite belt extends into the Blue Ridge and along the Piedmont region so it is quite likely that gold mining could proliferate. The company has already leased 11,000 acres in Virginia. We do not have sufficient existing regulations in place to protect us as modern gold mining of this kind has not occurred in Virginia. I ask that you support HB2213. Our health, our water and our land use is great risk and this deserves further study. Thank you.

Last Name: Zlotnick Locality: Buckingham

"My name is Mindy Zlotnick and I live in Buckingham County, VA. I'm writing to ask you to support HB2213 that is currently with the House Rules Committee. This is our urgent request for a moratorium on gold mining to allow for time to study the impacts to the drinking water of potentially millions of Virginians. An exploratory company has already found gold in Buckingham County. They say their find will lead to large-scale mining. Modern metal mining is the nation’s #1 toxic polluter. When Buckingham was the target of previous industry projects like the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, we learned that a company who comes to this Environmental Justice community to open a mine will not have our best interests in mind. We are looking to you to protect us. Please support HB2213. Thank you for your attention.

Last Name: Gillenwater Organization: The Piedmont Environmental Council Locality: Charlottesville

The Piedmont Environmental Council (PEC) supports HB 2213 carried by Delegate Guzman that ensures that the impacts of commercial gold mining to air, water, and public health are studied before permits are issued. Exploratory drilling for gold is taking place in Buckingham County and the same ore body runs through PEC's 9-county service region as well in the Virginia Piedmont. Gold mining tailings often contain elevated concentrations of toxic heavy metals such as arsenic, cadmium, lead, mercury, and others. PEC believes this study is necessary due to the potentially negative impacts from gold mining on the health, safety, and welfare of the communities in and around where such mining takes place.

HB2244 - Family life education; curriculum guidelines, human reproduction, viewing of ultrasound video.
Last Name: Cox Locality: Virginia Beach

Please don't ruin our lives and State ! Thank You

Last Name: Emineth Organization: Year Locality: Williamsburg

These young kids are being taught things already that should be no part of any ciriculam. All this transgender crap and how America is a terrible racist world should be gone along with the ither nonsense. Please treat our children like the innocent children they are and should be. Just remember your days of going to school, remember how it was so simple and innocent and how we said the plesge of allegiance and we were taught just simple things like Math, Science, History and English. I understand the world is more complicated than back then, but cant we just leave all the other bullcrap for adults to figure out and stop putting pressure on our children.

Last Name: Lynn Locality: Gloucester point

I tried to check off as many as I could understand 🙃why not just get to work for the money we pay

Last Name: Watson Locality: Fairfax

HB2244 - Yes! Thanks for protecting life! HJ516 - COS! All for it! So badly needed!

Last Name: Bryant Locality: Henrico I would

I would like to know what the bills have in them. Don't want anything in them hidden like they do in Washington.

Last Name: Massa Locality: Fairfax

This piece of legislation is rooted in anti-abortion-access reasoning and adds nothing of value to the Family Life Education curriculum. As a former student of Fairfax County Public Schools, I experienced firsthand the way the current program can let down its students. Overhaul of the curriculum is needed to address the forms of sexual manipulation and violence that young people face in today's electronic world; teach young people about the role of consent and safe sexual practices rather than exclusively and overwhelmingly emphasizing abstinence; and discuss the diversity of experiences in young people coming to terms with their sexualities that may need resources outside of their families. Adding this specific requirement, the viewing of ultrasound imagery during the course, is likely unnecessary. Most students will probably see this imagery at some point, whether from television, in image form, or at instructor discretion. Forcing those who wish to terminate a pregnancy to go through bureaucratic motions such as viewing the ultrasound or having a burial for fetal tissue is a strategy that neither decreases abortions nor improves the health or wellbeing of pregnant people. It is a strategy designed to emotionally manipulate people into changing their minds and has no place as a requirement by the Commonwealth. Likewise, in the classroom, inserting this specific facet into the curriculum is an obvious attempt to replicate the above strategy. It is unnecessary, disruptive, and rooted in a philosophy that does not fulfil students' needs. I ask the legislature of Virginia to focus instead on the needs of students in Family Life Education that are supported by data.

HB2271 - Universal health care; Joint Commission on Health Care to study options for financing.
Last Name: Cox Locality: Virginia Beach

Please don't ruin our lives and State ! Thank You

Last Name: Shively Locality: Pittsylvania

No universal health care will cause too much debt and change out social security? I’ve worked my whole life and feel I deserve that money I have put in. Universal health care will break out infrastructure bad set the debt level even higher.

Last Name: Lynn Locality: Gloucester point

I tried to check off as many as I could understand 🙃why not just get to work for the money we pay

Last Name: Bryant Locality: Henrico I would

I would like to know what the bills have in them. Don't want anything in them hidden like they do in Washington.

Last Name: Scipio Locality: Orange County,, Locust Grove

In favor of programs to better facilitate the development and progress of my community.

Last Name: Jacobs Locality: Herndon

I support these three bills. I believe a study to definitely suggest how best the Commonwealth of Virginia can get money out of politics is key to our raising ourselves up from the 10% worst states with respect to campaign contributions, with only 4 states more corrupted by money in politics than us. This is why I feel we need Del. Bulova's HJ526. I support Del. Samirah's HB2271. Having lived in Québec, Canada (just like our new Vice President), which is a Medicaid for all system with a Canadian Federal Grant, I can say the system works and works very well. I think that a Medicaid for Some system is the perfect one for Virginia to showcase as an option to the rest of the states, as a better solution than the drastic Medicare for all Federal bureaucracy. Samirah's bill would study just what a Public Option (Medicaid for Some) would look like. After all, it's what Obamacare, the ACA, should have been. Let's do what the Federal Government could not: Medicaid for Some: you have a Public Option. Finally, I support McNamara's HJ541. Daylight Savings is a joke. There is no reason to shift the clock twice a year and it causes less productive workers for an entire week after the time changes, injuring our economy. Arizona has no daylight savings, and Virginia would do well to follow, and lead the charge to eliminating Daylight Savings across the entire Eastern Seaboard. We literally spend 7 months in Summer Time, and only 5 in Standard Time. I hope this study will look into all possibilities including moving Virginia to Central Time permanently, just go into Summer Time in March, and never leave it. That would be my dream but I look forward to what this study will find.

HJ522 - Staffing levels, employment conditions, and compensation at DOC; continued study, appropriations.
No Comments Available
HJ525 - National Statuary Hall Collection at the United States Capitol; Barbara Rose Johns.
No Comments Available
HJ526 - Comprehensive campaign finance reform; joint subcommittee to study.
No Comments Available
HJ527 - Invasive plant species; DCR, et al., to study the sale and use of species.
No Comments Available
HJ537 - Racism; General Assembly to recognize as a public health crisis.
No Comments Available
HJ538 - Access to water; human right.
No Comments Available
HJ542 - Transit equity and modernization; Department of Rail and Public Transportation to study.
No Comments Available
HJ549 - COVID-19; JLARC to study the impact on Virginia's public schools, students, and school employees.
No Comments Available
HJ562 - International Overdose Awareness Day; designating Aug. 31, 2021, & each succeeding year thereafter.
No Comments Available
HJ563 - Corporate tax; DLS to establish group to assess transitioning to unitary combined reporting system.
No Comments Available
HJ567 - Income tax, state; JLARC to study increasing the progressivity of Virginia's system.
No Comments Available
HJ572 - Wolf Creek Cherokee Tribe of Virginia; General Assembly to extend state recognition.
No Comments Available
HJ578 - Criminal justice, behavioral health, & other records; DBHDS to study feasibility of secure database.
No Comments Available
HJ579 - Speaker of the House of Delegates; confirming appointment to VCU Health Sys Authority Board of Dir.
No Comments Available
HJ583 - Liberty Amendments Month; designating June 19 through third Monday in July, 2021.
No Comments Available
HJ596 - Brain Aneurysm Awareness Month; designating September, in 2021 and each succeeding year thereafter.
No Comments Available
HJ604 - General Assembly; confirming appointment to Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission.
No Comments Available
HJ605 - Victims of COVID-19 Remembrance Day; designating March 14, 2021 & each succeeding yr thereafter.
No Comments Available
HJ606 - Equal Citizens Month; designating November, in 2021 and each succeeding year thereafter.
No Comments Available
HR238 - House Ethics Advisory Panel; confirming appointment by Speaker of the House of Delegates.
No Comments Available
End of Comments