RICHMOND -- Sen. John Watkins struck his uranium mining bill this afternoon.
Watkins, R-Powhatan, had sponsored the bill that would have lifted the state’s 1982 moratorium on uranium mining and milling.
Virginia Uranium Inc. had wanted to mine a 119-million-pound uranium ore deposit six miles from Chatham. The company had been lobbying the General Assembly to direct the state to write regulations for uranium mining and milling, which would have lifted the ban.
Access was limited for a General Assembly committee hearing on uranium mining this afternoon.
Although the mining bill was not expected to pass even before Watkins struck it, opponents from Southside Virginia filled half a meeting room and others waited outside, an hour before members of the Senate Agriculture, Conservation and Natural resources Committee were expected to convene.
Only a few people were seated on the mining supporters' side of the room.