Virginia Uranium Inc. filed a lawsuit Wednesday in Wise County Circuit Court that would allow it to mine the element upstream from Virginia Beach’s water supply, according to a press release from the company.
The Commonwealth has prohibited the mining of uranium since the 1980s; the company contends that ban violates its property rights.
The Virginia Beach City Council adopted a resolution in September asking Virginia’s attorney general to oppose any lawsuit that seeks to invalidate Virginia’s longstanding moratorium on uranium mining.
The Beach also asked the General Assembly to maintain the prohibition in its legislative request package this year. It said the uranium deposit is upstream of the John H. Kerr Reservoir, which provides 93 percent of the inflow to one of Virginia Beach’s main water supplies — Lake Gaston.
The cities of Chesapeake, Norfolk, Suffolk, Virginia Beach and the Hampton Roads Planning District Commission have all passed resolutions opposing uranium mining in Virginia and against lifting the legislative moratorium on uranium mining, according to Virginia Beach’s request to legislators.
Virginia Uranium Inc. filed a similar lawsuit in federal court in August against the state, according to its release.