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Opinion: Local control over uranium mining limited

Sunday - 10/13/2013, 3:30pm  ET

Associated Press

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) -- Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli concludes in an advisory opinion that local officials would have little influence over uranium mining if Virginia decided to end a decades-long prohibition.

Cuccinelli issued the non-binding advisory in response to a request from Delegate Donald Merricks. He represents Pittsylvania County, home to one of the largest uranium deposits in the world.

Cuccinelli states the county would have no authority to regulate uranium mining "in any fashion" while the moratorium is in place and very narrow powers should the General Assembly lift the moratorium

The opinion comes amid the continuing effort by Virginia Uranium Inc. to have the 1982 ban lifted so it can mine a 119-million-pound deposit of the radioactive ore about 6 miles outside of Chatham near the North Carolina state line.

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