MAJOR D.C. CIRCUIT VICTORY AGAINST TRANSMISSION LINE NEAR HISTORIC JAMESTOWN

On behalf of National Parks Conservation Association, we obtained a significant legal victory from the D.C. Circuit.  In its decision, a three-judge panel ruled unanimously that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers violated the National Environmental Policy Act (“NEPA”) by failing to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (“EIS”) before approving this highly controversial transmission line in a historically sensitive location that will result in unparalleled impacts to this historic district encompassing the first English settlement in North America.  In finding the Corps’ decision arbitrary and capricious, the court held that “repeated criticism from many agencies who serve as stewards of the exact resources at issue, not to mention consultants and organizations with on-point expertise, surely rises to more than mere passion” and thus requires, at minimum, preparation of an EIS.  The court vacated the Corps’ permit to the project proponent (Dominion Energy) and instructed the Corps to prepare an EIS while also considering practicable alternatives to Dominion’s preferred project configuration.  The opinion can be found here.