A fight in another state could have serious impacts here on your water.
Virginia lawmakers are thinking of allowing uranium mining for the first time in about 30 years. If they allow it, many expect crews to start on land in Pittsylvania County, which may have one of the largest deposits of the element in the country and touches North Carolina.
Advocates promise the process is safe. But others worry about contamination seeping into the water and traveling hundreds of miles.
"It's very stressful. We would move,” Leslie James said. “It's that kind of stressful."
Eyewitness News met her in Raleigh. She was off to Richmond to rally against the mining Monday.
North Carolinians should be concerned, if you read a study the National Academy of Sciences did about a year ago. It says Virginia would have to overcome "steep hurdles" to make sure mining is safe for the public, especially because Virginia hasn't been in the business for 30 years. It also says Virginia would have to think about solid waste that's left over, that those "tailings" can be "potential sources of contamination for thousands of years."
The Southern Environmental Law Center's Cale Jaffe put it this way: "It's management of that waste for a long term that threatens surface water, ground water, and, of course, drinking water. That's been the driving concern."
And it's been such a concern, Mecklenburg County state Rep. Ruth Samuelson teamed up with other lawmakers to send Virginia's governor a letter last month, saying their group has "significant concern" with the plans and urging Virginia to consider the "possible adverse impacts" to North Carolina.
When asked her level of concern as a Mecklenburg County resident, Samuelson said, "For Charlotte...none. For the people in the watershed that would be impacted, enough that we thought that we ought to write the letter."
Mining advocates argue the U.S. is too dependent on foreign uranium, maybe even more so than foreign oil. The U.S. imports about 90 percent of its uranium from other countries.