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Mining suit will go to state court

December 8, 2012 12:10 am


A lawsuit involving the planned Black Marsh Farms mining project in Caroline County has made its way to the full Virginia Supreme Court.

In February, Circuit Judge Joseph Ellis ruled in favor of the Caroline County Board of Supervisors in a lawsuit involving Vulcan Materials Co.'s planned mining project on Albert Wachtmeister's 541-acre Black Marsh Farms property in the Skinker's Neck area of Caroline.

Ellis ruled that Friends of the Rappahannock and a group of concerned citizens and landowners did not have legal standing to contest the Board of Supervisors' decision to grant Vulcan a special-exception permit to mine sand and some gravel at the riverfront property.

Last month, a three-member panel of the Virginia Supreme Court agreed that Friends of the Rappahannock lacks legal standing, a decision that means the river conservation organization is no longer part of the case. But the panel ruled that the full Virginia Supreme Court can consider whether the remaining plaintiffs should have legal standing in the case.

A date has not been scheduled for arguments in front of the Virginia Supreme Court on the matter. If the court rules that the plaintiffs lack standing, the lawsuit would be terminated. If the court overturns Ellis' decision on legal standing, the matter would return to Caroline Circuit Court for further arguments.

Bill Freehling: 540/374-5405

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