June 11, 2018
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Preservation Virginia and the National Trust for Historic Preservation have filed a notice of appeal with the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to seek a review of the recent federal court ruling that allows Dominion Energy to proceed with constructing a massive transmission line across the James River at Jamestown.
In July 2017, the Army Corps of Engineers granted the necessary federal permit to allow Dominion Energy to proceed with construction of the project without preparing a full Environmental Impact Statement as required under the National Environmental Policy Act or fully considering reasonable and prudent alternatives as required by the National Historic Preservation Act. Preservation Virginia and the National Trust for Historic Preservation subsequently filed a lawsuit to ensure that legal, proper and reasonable steps were taken to analyze the project’s impacts and viable alternatives.
Despite the failure to prepare a full Environmental Impact Statement and fully consider alternatives, a federal judge ruled that the Army Corps complied with the National Environmental Policy Act and the National Historic Preservation Act in granting the permit. The notice of appeal seeks reconsideration of that decision. The parties are represented by the global law firm, Dentons, LLP.
“As a steward of Historic Jamestowne and a voice for Virginia’s historic places since 1889, we are participating in this appeal to protect the historic, scenic and cultural integrity of the James River, the Colonial Parkway and Carter’s Grove, a National Historic Landmark,” said Elizabeth S. Kostelny, CEO of Preservation Virginia. “Section 106 under the National Historic Preservation Act was established to consider ways to preserve significant historic sites and the changing contemporary needs. In this case, we believe the process was flawed.”
“America has only one ‘Founding River,’” said Sharee Williamson, associate general counsel, National Trust for Historic Preservation. “Visitors to Colonial Parkway and the Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail currently enjoy a river landscape that looks much as it did when the first permanent English colony was established at Jamestown in 1607. Our appeal asks the court to order the Army Corps to take a closer look at alternative projects that would protect the James River at Jamestown. ”
About Preservation Virginia
Preservation Virginia is a private, non-profit organization and statewide historic preservation leader founded in 1889 that is dedicated to preserving, promoting, and serving as an advocate for Virginia's cultural and architectural history. www.preservationvirgina.org
About National Trust for Historic Preservation
The National Trust for Historic Preservation, a privately-funded non-profit organization, works to save America’s historic places. www.savingplaces.org
Dentons is the world's largest law firm, delivering quality and value to clients around the globe. We are dedicated to serving the communities in which we live and work, and we remain committed to pro bono work and positive social impact. www.dentons.com
804-648-1889, ext. 304
National Trust for Historic Preservation