Virginia Energy Files Federal Suit Against Commonwealth of Virginia
|Aug 05, 2015 ||
Virginia Energy Resources Inc. (TSX.V: VUI; OTCQX: VEGYF) ("Virginia Energy" or the "Company") has filed a lawsuit in federal court against the Commonwealth of Virginia asking that the state's 33-year-old law banning the development of uranium mining be nullified.
Virginia Uranium, Inc. President and CEO Walter Coles, Sr., commented in a statement: "We do not come to this point lightly. For almost eight years, and at great expense, we have worked in good faith with our community, our local government and the General Assembly, as well as myriad state agencies. Our goal has been one simple thing: the enactment of legislation repealing the 1982 law banning uranium mining and the development of uranium mining regulations by the Commonwealth of Virginia. We had hoped that our steady progress and good faith cooperation with Commonwealth legislators and officials would continue under Governor McAuliffe's administration. But that was not to be. Soon after his election, Governor McAuliffe made it abundantly clear that during his administration he would veto any legislative remedy that came before him. In the face of this ultimatum, and in light of our years of dedicated efforts, we have no course but to seek a legal resolution."
The Washington law firm of Cooper & Kirk filed the suit on Wednesday, August 5, 2015 in the United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia in Danville. The plaintiffs include Virginia Uranium, Inc., Coles Hill, LLC, Bowen Minerals, LLC and Virginia Energy Resources Inc.
The federal suit seeks injunctive relief for the plaintiffs, who are asking the court to declare the 33-year-old ban on the development of uranium mining regulations in the Commonwealth null and void, based on the Supremacy Clause of the United States Constitution.
The plaintiffs contend, and will demonstrate, that the Commonwealth's refusal to develop uranium mining regulations is grounded in environmental and radiological safety concerns over the processing of uranium ore and, in particular, the long-term storage and management of uranium mill tailings. Pursuant to the federal Atomic Energy Act, the regulatory oversight and management of the uranium mill and the resulting tailings are under the clear and exclusive jurisdiction of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Thus, the suit contends, the Commonwealth's ban on uranium mining is preempted by federal law and is therefore invalid under the Supremacy Clause of the United States Constitution.
Explaining the essence of the complaint, Charles J. Cooper said, "Federal law is the supreme 'law of the land' and the Commonwealth's ban on uranium mining is in direct conflict with federal law. The Commonwealth cannot refuse to develop state mining regulations based on concerns over activities that are permissible under federal law and under the clear jurisdiction of the federal government. The Commonwealth of Virginia is simply 'not on the field' with respect to the regulatory oversight of uranium mill tailings. We urge the Commonwealth to move forward promptly to develop strict and rigorous regulations for those activities over which the Commonwealth does have jurisdiction, namely uranium mining."
"As always, we are committed to building and operating the safest uranium mine in the world," Coles said, pointing to the economic studies showing that development of the uranium resource would provide a tremendous economic boost to the region in terms of jobs and tax revenue. "We hope the Commonwealth will accept its responsibility to develop strict uranium mining regulations in place of its invalid, decades-old ban."
About Virginia Energy
Virginia Energy Resources Inc. is a uranium development and exploration company. The company holds a 100% controlling interest in the advanced stage Coles Hill uranium project located in south central Virginia, USA.
On Behalf of the Board of Directors of
VIRGINIA ENERGY RESOURCES INC.
Walter Coles, Sr.
President & CEO
Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking StatementsCertain of the statements in this press release constitute "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 and "forward-looking information" within the meaning of applicable Canadian securities laws. Forward-looking information includes, but is not limited to, statements relating to filing of a lawsuit in federal court against the Commonwealth of Virginia. Forward-looking statements and information generally express predictions, expectations, beliefs, plans, projections, or assumptions of future events or performance, do not constitute historical fact and are subject to a variety of risks and uncertainties which could cause actual events or results to differ materially from those reflected in such statements. Forward-looking statements and information contained in this release are based on the beliefs, estimates, and opinions of management on the date the statements are made. There can be no assurance that such statements or information will prove accurate. Actual results may differ materially from those anticipated or projected. Virginia Energy expressly disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements and information whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as otherwise required by applicable securities legislation. No production decision with respect to the Coles Hill project has been made nor will a production decision be made until Virginia Energy has received results from this lawsuit asking that the state's 33-year-old law banning the development of uranium mining be nullified.
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