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Virginia Uranium, Inc. v. Warren

ELR Citation: 47 ELR 20025
Nos. 16-1005, (4th Cir., 02/17/2017)

The Fourth Circuit affirmed a district court ruling that upheld a Virginia uranium mining ban on non-federal lands. In the early 1980s, a uranium deposit was discovered in Pittsylvania County, Virginia, on land owned by a mineral company. The Virginia Assembly requested that the state Coal and Energy Commission evaluate the environmental effects of uranium exploration and mining. Before the Commission could make a determination, the Assembly imposed a moratorium on uranium mining until a permitting program is established. A mining company challenged the moratorium in district court as preempted by federal law. The district court dismissed the case in favor of Virginia. The appellate court upheld the dismissal, stating that Congress' purposes and objectives were not materially affected by the state's ban on conventional uranium mining.