September 2019 Bar Bulletin
By Molly K.D. Barker
On June 17, the U.S. Supreme Court decided Virginia Uranium, Inc. v. Warren, a case that, while focused on federal preemption, could have cascading impacts relating to states’ sovereign rights to regulate environmental matters.
The Supreme Court case originated in a lawsuit brought against officials of the Commonwealth of Virginia by mining companies and owners of private land containing uranium deposits. The suit sought declaratory and injunctive relief against the Commonwealth of Virginia state officials, asserting that a Virginia law preventing state agencies from accepting uranium mining permit applications is preempted by the federal Atomic Energy Act (“AEA”)....