SELC applauds court decision to uphold VA uranium mining ban

This map shows the proposed location for the uranium mine and the surrounding rivers, which serve as a drinking water source for many communities.

Today the U.S. District Court in Danville, VA tossed out the Virginia Uranium, Inc. (VUI) lawsuit challenging the legality of Virginia’s 33-year-old statutory ban on uranium mining. The decision affirmed the state’s authority to regulate uranium mining and ruled that the federal Atomic Energy Act does not preempt the state in regulating conventional uranium mining on private lands.

“The Court correctly dismissed VUI’s tortured attempt to extend the Atomic Energy Act beyond its proper bounds and upheld Virginia’s authority to regulate uranium mining as it sees fit,” said Staff Attorney Will Cleveland. “This is not only a win for the Commonwealth, but also for the people, environment, and local economies in Virginia that would be threatened by uranium mining.”

This ruling ends the latest chapter in the VUI story, though the company also has filed a separate case in state court seeking to invalidate the ban.

In 2007, Virginia Uranium, Inc. went public with plans to exploit a large uranium deposit in southern Virginia’s Pittsylvania County. If approved, the operation would entail extensive mining, a milling facility, and disposal of massive amounts of waste that would leave a toxic legacy for centuries. The deposit at the Coles Hill farm was discovered years ago, but in 1982, the Virginia legislature enacted a statewide ban on uranium mining that still exists today. SELC remains active in protecting the ban from VUI’s continued threats.

More News

Community and faith leaders shed light on Georgians’ energy burden

Nobody likes a sky-high electric bill. But in Georgia, where total monthly energy costs are the third highest nationwide, many families are consi...

Public Service Commission delivers major clean energy wins in Georgia

Georgia’s electric grid is getting a lot more solar following today’s final vote by the Georgia Public Service Commission (PSC) on Georgia Power’...

Lower Cape Fear River no longer to be classified as ‘swamp waters’

Fifteen miles of North Carolina’s lower Cape Fear River will no longer be classified as “swamp waters,” thanks to a successful petition by enviro...

Support floods in to bolster ruling invalidating 2 N.C. constitutional amendments

On Friday, the North Carolina NAACP, represented by SELC and Forward Justice, urged the North Carolina Court of Appeals to uphold the Wake County...

Carolinas object to seismic blasting

State agencies in North and South Carolina have found that seismic blasting proposed for the Atlantic Ocean is not in line with the states’ coast...

Cross-sector collaboration: Groups tackle climate change through transportation reform

As the leading source of greenhouse gas emissions nationwide—and a close second in North Carolina—transportation has a vital role to play in redu...

More Stories