Jim Doyle has obtained a very favorable appellate decision and sucessfully represented sand and gravel mining operations against restrictive zoning laws in Queen Anne’s County. These business interests are recognized as economically important to the State. Today’s reported decision by the Court of Special Appeals in Eaststar v. Queen Anne’s County reconizes that fact, and holds that restrictive county laws were pre-empted by the state’s comprehensive surface mining statutes. This is an important pre-emption decision. Had the Court held otherwise, each county would have been free to enact its own set of surface mining laws, thereby wiping out for practical purposes the extensive state statute, and handcuffing an important business sector of our economy.