The Virginia Coalition

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The Virginia Coalition is a diverse group of current Southside Virginia job creators who are concerned about the health of our employees and workforce, as well as our future ability to recruit new companies and employees into the region given the health implications of uranium mining.  We are CEO's, business owners, entrepreneurs, economic developers and current and former legislators who have a simple request: READ The Reports before voting on a matter with such far reaching ramifications.

We want to ensure that our legislators take the time required to carefully read and study all of the reports that have been conducted about this issue and consider the long-term health issues involved.  We also urge citizens to educate themselves on the facts of the studies, particularly on health issues, so they can make an informed decision about whether they support uranium mining in Virginia.

Virginia Uranium Inc. has proposed a major mining operation at Coles Hill, near Chatham. In order to proceed, Virginia Uranium seeks to overturn a 30-year state moratorium on uranium mining in Virginia.

The long awaited studies and reports on potential uranium mining in Virginia are complete, and they do not indicate that uranium mining can be done in Virginia without serious health risks.

According to Virginia Coalition spokesperson Andrew Lester "When our citizens and legislators read the reports, they will come away with the same conclusions as our coalition members. Uranium mining poses a dangerous threat to the health, safety and welfare of our people."

Founding members of The Virginia CoalitionFounding coalition members include Virginia House Delegate James Edmunds; former Delegate Ted Bennett; retired NASCAR driver Ward Burton; Chris Lumsden, CEO of Halifax Regional Health System; Nancy Pool, president of the Halifax County Chamber of Commerce; John Cannon, chairman of the Halifax County Industrial Development Authority and a member of the Virginia Tobacco Commission; local business owner Tom Raab of Electric Service Company; Brandon Scearce, Chairman of the Halifax County Chamber of Commerce and local insurance agent; Lisa Kipps-Brown, owner of Glerin Business Resources; Dr. Michelle Ah, Periodontist; John Lesnik, Civil Engineer.

The coalition has formed an affiliation with the Roanoke River Basin Association, a Danville based 501(c) 3 non-profit.

For 66 years the RRBA has sought the wise use and protection of the water resources in this region and the coalition feels their mission and reputation makes them an ideal partner, according to Lester.

Our website includes videos, maps and documents as well as downloadable versions of all the prominent reports on uranium mining including the National Academy of Sciences report.

The website also features the Roanoke River Basin Association sponsored assessment by Dr. Robert Moran, the only known site specific study performed on Coles Hill. Acknowledging that most citizens don't have time to read all of the reports in their entireity, the "In Their Words" section of the site will include excerpts from the mining studies, particularly on health issues.

Lester, currently associated with the Roanoke River Basin Association, has agreed to be executive director of Virginia Coalition and will be coordinating the group's efforts to educate the General Assembly and the citizens around the state.

"Our efforts will be to provide qualified information to the public and to our legislators. When they read the reports they will quickly realize that this is an unreasonable risk to our health, our lives and to our livelihood," Lester said. "And not only is this area immediately threatened, but the entire eastern portion of Virginia, from North Carolina to the Washington suburbs has large deposits of uranium. And if the demand is there, it will be mined."

"What we need now is support, both financial and citizen action," Lester explained. "We are asking that citizens write or call their respective legislators and utilize social media to express their health concerns."

Soon, tax deductible donations will be accepted through the website via PayPal.

In the meantime, donations can be mailed to the Roanoke River Basin Association, PO Box 1133, South Boston, Virginia 24592. Please indicate on the memo portion of your check that the donation is for the Virginia Coalition Fund.

How You Can Help

Contact your legislator.

Make a Donation:
Please make checks payable to Roanoke River Basin Association and note that it is for The Virginia Coalition.

Mail checks to P.O. Box PO Box 562, South Boston, VA 24592.

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Who We Are


Andrew Lester


John R. Cannon, Chairman
Michele Ah, DDS
Jessie L. Barksdale
William Bell, MD
W.W. "Ted" Bennett, Esq.
Brian Burton
Ward Burton
Buster D'Amato
David M. Dunn, Col. USA (Ret.)
James Edmunds, Del.
Mark Foster
Lisa Kipps-Brown
Chris A. Lumsden, FACHE
Steve D. Mize
Ken Morgan
Nancy L. Pool
Tom S. Raab
Brandon Scearce
Robert Smith
Carol Thackston, MG (Ret.)
Terrance J. Truitt, MD
James Witko, MD


J. T. Davis