Lawmakers Ask For Tobacco Funds To Fight Uranium
Some South Carolina lawmakers want to use money from the tobacco settlement to help Upstate residents who have uranium-contaminated water.
Tests have already shown uranium contamination in some Simpsonville area wells. Now state environmental workers are testing 300 wells across the Upstate.
Some leaders worry that the uranium problem could stretch much further.
Several lawmakers signed and sent a letter to Gov. Jim. Hodges asking him to set aside $5 million of the settlement money.
Those include Lt. Gov. Bob Peeler, R-Richland; Sen. David Thomas, R-Fountain Inn; Sen. Danny Verdin, R-Laurens; and Rep. Mike Easterday, R-Simpsonville.
They want Hodges to give some of the tobacco money to communities that have high levels of uranium in their wells.
Hodges received the letter Tuesday.
But Hodges' office doesn't agree that tobacco money is the solution.
The governor's office said that there simply isn't $5 million available to spend. A spokesman said that money has already been allocated for other uses.