River groups seek say in Virginia uranium lawsuit; US judge signals he opposes their entry

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DANVILLE, Virginia — Two water-protection groups are seeking a say in a lawsuit aimed at ending Virginia's moratorium on uranium mining.

After hearing arguments Friday in Danville, U.S. District Judge Jackson L. Kiser said he was inclined to deny the request by the Dan River Basin Association and the Roanoke River Basin Association. He said he would issue his formal ruling soon.

Virginia Uranium Inc. wants to mine a rich deposit of the radioactive ore in Pittsylvania County. The company failed to win the General Assembly's backing to end the mining ban. Gov. Terry McAuliffe has made said he's opposed to lifting a moratorium put in place in the 1980s.

Virginia Uranium has named McAuliffe and other state officials in its lawsuit, contending the federal government has regulatory oversight over uranium mining.

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