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AG discourages “chemical trespass” laws

An opinion by Virginia’s attorney general may cast a shadow over so-called “chemical trespass” ordinances being considered by localities for protection against uranium mining.

“It is my opinion that a Virginia locality may not enact an ordinance that preempts or nullifies state or federal law, and that such an ordinance would be unconstitutional,” Attorney General Robert F. McDonnell said in a Nov. 14 opinion.

The four-page opinion stated that county and municipal ordinances must be consistent with the laws of the commonwealth.

According to the Star-Tribune, Halifax became the first locality in Virginia to adopt such an ordinance in an effort to protect the county from Virginia Uranium Inc.’s plans to mine a huge uranium deposit in Pittsylvania County.

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