Science Meets Policy: Hopkins Chairs NASEM Committee on the Impacts of Gold Mining in VA

November 16, 2022

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) is a private, nonprofit institution chartered by Congress in 1863 to provide science, technology, and health policy advice to the government. NASEM enlists leading scientists, engineers, and other experts to answer scientific and technical issues facing the United States and the world.

Dr. Bill Hopkins, was the Chair of the NASEM Committee that was formed to study the potential impacts of gold mining in Virginia, with a focus on potential impacts of gold mining on public health, safety, and welfare. Committee members are selected from diverse disciplines and backgrounds, and are recognized experts in their field of study. This particular committee was formed to satisfy House Bill 2213, which directed the Secretary of Natural Resources, the Secretary of Health and Human Resources, and the Secretary of Commerce and Trade establish a work group to study the mining of gold in the Commonwealth.

The study and its findings were released on November 1, 2022 and Dr. Hopkins led a national webinar  the next day to present an overview of the report. The study includes an assessment of the geologic and mineralogical characteristics of gold deposits in Virginia and the types of gold mining operations used with comparable deposits; an evaluation of VA’s existing regulatory framework and a comparison to other states; and potential impacts from gold mining on water quality, human health, and the environment.

Learn more about the report and its findings by catching up on recent news stories: