Press Release | December 2, 2015

Community Groups Applaud Court Decision to Uphold Uranium Mining Ban

Danville, VA—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 Will Cleveland, Staff Attorney at Southern Environmental Law Center. “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.”

“We stand on the principle that the people, through our local and state governments, have the right to protect our health, safety and welfare, and this decision emphatically confirms that right.” said Andrew Lester, Executive Director of the Roanoke River Basin Association. 

“We are pleased that the court struck down the latest uranium industry attack on Southern Virginia communities,” said Tiffany Haworth, Executive Director of Danville River Basin Association. “This is a win for our local rivers and streams, communities, and economy.”


About Southern Environmental Law Center: The Southern Environmental Law Center is a regional nonprofit using the power of the law to protect the health and environment of the Southeast (Virginia, Tennessee, North and South Carolina, Georgia, and Alabama). Founded in 1986, SELC's team of about 60 legal and policy experts represent more than 100 partner groups on issues of climate change and energy, air and water quality, forests, the coast and wetlands, transportation, and land use.

About Roanoke River Basin Association: The Roanoke River Basin Association is a nonprofit organization that seeks to establish and carry out a strategy for the development, use, preservation, and enhancement of resources of the Roanoke River basin. Based in Danville, Virginia, its membership includes almost 50 local governments, non-profit, civic and community organizations, and regional governmental entities.

About Dan River Basin Association: The Dan River Basin Association is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to preserve and promote the natural and cultural resources of the Dan River basin through stewardship, recreation, and education programs. Based in Eden, North Carolina, it provides environmental education programs, water quality monitoring, and assists localities in planning and constructing trails, and access to local rivers and streams both throughout 16 counties in North Carolina and Virginia.

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Press Contacts

Will Cleveland

Senior Attorney