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Governor Glenn Youngkin declared a state of emergency due to the wildfires in Madison and Patrick Counties.
The state of emergency allows the Commonwealth to mobilize additional resources in response and recovery efforts as the fire has become more challenging due to the drought conditions.
The declaration then triggered Virginia’s price gouging protections which are designed to protect consumers from paying exorbitant prices for necessities during a thirty day period following a state of emergency.
Violations of the act are enforceable by the Attorney General’s office and should be reported for investigation.
The basic test for determining price gouging is if the post-disaster price grossly exceeds the price 10 days prior.
Some of the items included are water, ice, food, generators, home repair materials, and tree removal services.
Consumers can contact the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Section for additional information or to file a complaint by:
- Phone at (800)-552-9963
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Online Complaint Form, available here
For more information on price gouging, click here.
To view the Governor’s announcement, click here.
Attorney General Jason Miyares announced that Virginia received a payment of $137.3 million from major tobacco companies like Phillip Morris, R.J. Reynolds and others as a result of the Tobacco Master Settlement.
The Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement was originally finalized in 1998 and resolved Virginia’s lawsuit against the companies for violating consumer protection laws and deceptive marketing practices.
The payments help to cover the cost of healthcare for smoking related illnesses.
The Commonwealth has received $3.2 billion in payments to date from the settlement.