A company’s defeated efforts to overturn Virginia’s longstanding ban on uranium mining took a surprising turn last week, as the company actually sued the state with the outlandish legal claim that the moratorium —on the books since 1982—is suddenly unconstitutional.
Virginia Uranium, Inc., which controls land with a large uranium deposit in southern Virginia, launched an aggressive lobbying effort to overturn the ban a few years ago. But local governments, regional chambers of commerce, and public health groups worked to uphold the ban, united in strong opposition to storing radioactive waste from uranium mining in a basin that provides drinking water for 1.1 million people.
A bipartisan group of legislators, including every elected official representing the area of the proposed mining site, went on record to support the moratorium, as did Governor McAuliffe, so the issue was considered settled—until Virginia Uranium, Inc. filed its suit last week.
A recent editorial in The Virginian-Pilot laid out the case against uranium mining.
As local groups and elected officials once again start to rally against this misguided effort, check out this clip from a video SELC and partners produced that shows how much this Virginia community has to lose if uranium mining moves forward.
The full video can be viewed here.