Press Release Nov 8, 2019

District Court Ruling Endangers National Parks, Historic Jamestown

This destructive and unlawfully built project degrades the historic landscape including surrounding national park sites, and threatens the endangered Atlantic sturgeon.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia issued a ruling in National Parks Conservation Association’s lawsuit regarding Dominion Energy’s massive, illegally permitted Surry-Skiffes Creek transmission line project in the James River.

The court granted defendants’ (Dominion Energy and the US Army Corps of Engineers) motion for remand without vacatur. Despite disobeying the law by building this project without a legally mandated Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) as required under the National Environmental Policy Act, Dominion will not lose its permit for the project, pending an ongoing EIS process ordered by the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals.

Statement by Theresa Pierno, President and CEO for the National Parks Conservation Association:

“Today’s ruling is an extremely disappointing decision, especially given that the previous court ruling found the Army Corps illegally granted Dominion a permit to build this massive transmission tower. Already in place in the river, this destructive and unlawfully built project degrades the historic landscape including Colonial National Historical Park, Colonial Parkway and the Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail and threatens the endangered Atlantic sturgeon. This ruling endangers national parks, the James River ecosystem and viewshed, and some of America’s earliest memories at historic Jamestown. It also sets a dangerous precedent for companies seeking an end-run around our bedrock environmental protection laws.

“We need a clean, by-the-book environmental impact statement that thoroughly complies with the National Environmental Policy Act to weigh reasonable alternatives to this oversized project, built in this iconic historic area. Our national parks and the communities that rely on them are not for sale, and we are evaluating further legal options to keep it that way.”


About the National Parks Conservation Association: For 100 years, the nonpartisan National Parks Conservation Association has been the leading voice in safeguarding our national parks. NPCA and its more than 1.3 million members and supporters work together to protect and preserve our nation’s most iconic and inspirational places for future generations. For more information, visit