In August 2022, the NGO Virginia Community Rights Network presented to the Buckingham Board of Supervisors a Community Bill of Rights titled “Ordinance Requiring an Assessment of the Compatibility of Metallic Mining with the Right to Freedom from Toxic Trespass”, requesting passage into law. The proposed ordinance protects the fundamental rights, health, safety, and welfare of residents and ecosystems of Buckingham County, which include, but are not limited to, “wetlands, streams, rivers, aquifers, the James River watershed, and other water systems, as well as forests, mountains, piedmont and meadow…rights to exist, persist, flourish, regenerate and be restored by culpable parties.” The ordinance states that corporations engaged in metallic mining activities have damaged and harmed residents and ecosystems including “toxic trespass, loss of water, property devaluation, devastation of mountains, natural features, complex natural communities, hydrological systems, and other ecosystems.”
Virginia Community Rights Network says that the Supervisors do not want gold/metallic mining, but they need convincing to pass the rights-based ordinance. Thus far, the network continues to give steady input at monthly BoS meetings, and urges the community to take action to urge their supervisor to pass the ordinance.
Virginia Community Rights Network also worked with CELDF to create the James River Natural Community Bill of Rights