The Bill seeking to end a longstanding ban against uranium mining in Virginia has been withdrawn just before it was to be put for vote in the state General Assembly.
State Senator John Watkins, sponsor of the Bill, had to retract his steps having failed to garner enough votes to deliver on the legislation that sought to establish a regulatory framework for uranium mining in the state.
Watkins further urged Governor Bob McDonnell to direct state agencies to draft mining regulations under the state Administrative Process Act while the ban remains in place.
The withdrawal will hit the proposed mine on the Coles Hill deposit near Chatham in Pittsylvania County that hosts an estimated 119 million pounds of uranium.
The company was set up by the family that owns the farm hosting the said deposit, which has the capacity to power US nuclear power plants for over two years.
Virginia Uranium project manager Patrick Wales was quoted by Virginia Business as saying, "Having these additional regulatory details would undoubtedly answer many remaining questions and we believe would foster comfort with this promising industry and confidence in its safety."
Previously, several parties including the Pittsylvania Board of Supervisors and area legislators opposed the proposal, citing considerable risk to health and safety.