Press Release


U.S. District Court Rules on Dominion Energy’s Permit for James River Transmission Towers

November 8, 2019

For immediate release:

U.S. District Court Rules on Dominion Energy’s Permit for James River Transmission Towers
Statements by the National Trust for Historic Preservation and Preservation Virginia

WASHINGTON- Today, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia ruled that Dominion Energy’s permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for transmission towers across Virginia’s James River could remain in place while compliance is completed under the National Environmental Policy Act. This decision followed the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals’ decision earlier this year ordering preparation of an Environment Impact Study (EIS) to explore alternatives to the existing towers.  The EIS is currently under development.

Paul Edmondson, president and CEO, National Trust for Historic Preservation:

“We are disappointed in the court’s decision, but we are confident that a thorough EIS process, as mandated by the Court of Appeals, will identify alternatives that demonstrate that the towers should be deconstructed. We are troubled, however, that today’s ruling may encourage others to rush to build projects while their permits are being challenged in court, and before the ramifications of their projects on historic and environmental resources are fully explored.”

Elizabeth Kostelny, CEO, Preservation Virginia:

“The court’s decision is unfortunate.  However, we remain fully engaged in the EIS process to ensure a rigorous analysis of alternatives that will restore the historic integrity of the James River while delivering reliable electric power to the Peninsula.  The nationally significant sites of Jamestown, Carter’s Grove, the Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail, and the indigenous cultural landscape of the James River require thorough, sensitive, and thoughtful consideration.”


About the Litigation
Matthew Adams of Dentons US LLP led the team which also included Jessica Duggan and Samuel Kohn in representing the National Trust and Preservation Virginia pro bono in this case. The National Trust was also represented by in house attorneys Sharee Williamson and Elizabeth Merritt.

About the National Trust for Historic Preservation

The National Trust for Historic Preservation, a privately-funded non-profit organization, works to save America’s historic places.

About Preservation Virginia

Preservation Virginia’s mission is to make Virginia’s communities and historic places of memory stronger, more vital and economically sustainable through preservation, education and advocacy.

CONTACTS: Virgil McDill, 202.294.9187,;

Will Glasco, 804.648.1889 ext. 311,