The Buckingham County Planning Commission is not “dragging their feet.” County residents who want to limit mining practices in Buckingham know there have been multiple meetings during the past few months as well as audiences with concerned residents, presentations made, publications to read, and experts and business owners all have come forward with their concerns.

Addressing the latest complaint from a letter writer suggesting that the Commission is off track and who would like the Commission to pass an ordinance guaranteeing a resident’s right to avoid toxic trespass, that ordinance is a Civil Rights Law and outside the prevue of the Planning Commission. Requests to have a Toxic Trespass Law should go directly to the Board of Supervisors and it should come from them. The Commission’s job is Land Use, and represents a complex balancing of owner’s rights to use their land, and a determination that doing so will not threaten the welfare of the surrounding community. Responding to the letter writer’s complaint about the time it takes to get it right, it deserves that time, and, in my opinion, the time is well spent.

Stakeholders should know, laws from the Federal level down through the Virginia Codes either allow or limit the County in making its own laws. The Commission’s job has been to listen to both sides of the argument and consider an answer that serves to protect our environment and our residents, while allowing those who are involved in mining , who are using environmentally responsible community-oriented practices, and who bring enormous economic value to our
community, are also protected. It’s not a simple task.

In the end, the Commission will offer recommendations to the County Board and the County Attorney regarding existing ordinances, or changes to them. My hope is that county residents find that the commissioners and supervisors, together with the County Attorney, will have found a balance that addresses their concerns and those of our local business owners. In my opinion, not everyone is satisfied. But the Commission will do its best bringing answers to both sides ultimately protecting County residents, lands, and our economic providers.

Pete Kapuscinski

Published 5:51 pm Friday, June 23, 2023
By Peter Kapuscinski (

Photo: Community gathering at Warminster Church, 1-29-23. Pete on the far right.

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