The Virginia Community Rights Network has finalized text for an Ordinance Requiring an Assessment of the Compatibility of Metallic Mining with the Right to Freedom from Toxic Trespass. Its language has been in the works for months, in anticipation of high environmental impact plans for gold mining in Buckingham County. The draft ordinance sets out a community bill of rights, including rights to Self-Government, a Healthy Environment, Self, Livelihood and Home, Cultural Heritage, Water and the Rights of Ecosystems. It also creates an operational right against toxic trespass (as part of the Right to Self), which encompasses a right of people and ecosystems not to be poisoned. It requires any metallic mining operation in the county to show proof that a project of similar scale and method, having operated for over ten years, and having also been idle for ten years following mining operations, has no record of toxic impacts on people or the environment. Plans are in the works for advancing the ordinance toward adoption by the county.

The Virginia Community Rights Network (VACRN) guides, supports, and encourages local efforts to recognize and legally secure the Rights of Nature and Communities to a healthy environment through self-government at the city, county, and state level. VACRN  is dedicated to challenging the injustice of ‘illegitimate’ corporate rights that impede local and direct democracy, through educational training,  workshops, campaign strategy development, and public outreach. For more information, reach out to info@vacommunityrights.org

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