AP: Next Stop in Va. Uranium Debate: Statehouse

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - The subject of years of study and passionate debate around the state about proposed uranium mining in Virginia is heading to the General Assembly and what is expected to be one of the fiercest environmental battles in recent memory.

The first stop is the legislature's Coal and Energy Commission on Monday.

The panel of House and Senate members is expected to make a recommendation on proposed legislation establishing a state regulatory framework for uranium mining.

The regulations must be in place before the state's 1982 moratorium on uranium mining can be lifted.

While the commission can't end the debate on Monday, it could influence the outcome of the legislation in the session that starts Wednesday.

Virginia Uranium Inc. wants to mine a rich deposit of the ore in Pittsylvania County.