Lawsuit Filed to Stop Army Corps from Permanently Degrading Our Nation’s Most Important Historic Setting

Yesterday, on behalf of the National Parks Conservation Association, we filed suit challenging the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ issuance of a permit that allows Dominion Energy to construct and operate a massive commercial overhead transmission line and 17 associated towers—which will reach as tall as 295 feet—to cross the James River in eastern Virginia, marring what is perhaps the most important landscape related to our nation’s founding.  This industrial intrusion will be visible from several national park units—including Historic Jamestowne—as well as dozens of historic properties that are listed on the National Historic Register and/or the Virginia Register of Historic Landmarks.  Despite repeated calls from the public and the National Park Service to deny this permit, or at the very least meaningfully involve the public by preparing an Environmental Impact Statement to analyze both the substantial impacts that will result to nationally important resources, as well as feasible alternatives to the project that could eliminate or at least substantially reduce such impacts, the Corps refused to do so and instead prepared a less detailed Environmental Assessment without even circulating a draft analysis for public review and comment.  Our lawsuit raises various claims under the National Environmental Policy Act and the Clean Water Act.  The complaint can be viewed here, and our client’s press release can be viewed here.