A group of nearly three dozen Gwynn’s Island residents seeking to reverse a VMRC decision that allowed for the deployment of over 700 oyster cages in Milford Haven had their day in court last month, and their appeal was denied.
Judge Designate R. Bruce Long heard the appeal of the July 2019 case of David L. Judson, et al, vs Damfino LLC in Mathews Circuit Court on June 25 and issued his opinion four days later, dismissing the case.
Long explained in his opinion that the burden of proof was on the residents appealing the decision of the Virginia Marine Resources Commission to show that there had been an “error of law” in the way the agency handled the case. It was the duty of the court, he said, to determine whether VMRC’s decision was supported by substantial evidence in the agency’s record.
The appellants’ case
During the hearing on the matter, the Judsons’ attorney, Norman A. Thomas, argued that the proposed oyster cage project would result in extensive biofouling of Mil...
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