Virginia Uranium, the company hoping to mine the Coles Hill site in Virginia, has suspended plans for the project. Despite investing hundreds of thousands of dollars in junkets to France and Canada for Virginia legislators and other lobbying efforts, the company was defeated by a large and diverse mass movement of opposition in the state. Newly elected VA governor, Terry McAuliffe, has also expressed opposition to the plan which would have required the lifting of a long-standing moratorium against uranium mining in Virginia.
Opponents and critics, and even an analysis conducted by the National Academy of Sciences, raised serious doubts about the environment in Virgnia, both natural and regulatory. Citing its wet climate and recent episodes of violent weather, opponents vigorously opposed the plan. The threat to drinking water, wine country and farm land also provided a compelling reason to stop the project. No regulatory infrastructure exists in Virginia suitable to effectively monitor a project of this kind.
Virginia Uranium has said it will not walk away. However, for the time being, the company's retreat marks a resounding victory for grassroots organizing that brought in diverse allies and stakeholders across the board.