Group sues to stop James River power line project

Preservationists who are trying to stop a plan to string power lines across the James River are taking their fight to the courtroom.

JAMESTOWN, Va. (WVEC) -- Preservationists who are trying to stop a plan to string power lines across the James River are taking their fight to the courtroom.

The National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA) filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers over their granting of permits to allow Dominion Energy to build transmission towers across the James River. On Tuesday, the James City County board of supervisors voted to approve the building of a switching station.

The power lines would run eight miles across 17 towers from Surry to Skiffes Creek, and are designed to keep up with the Peninsula's growing energy demands.

Critics -- including the NPCA -- have argued the towers would ruin the historic landscape.

In their lawsuit, the NPCA claims the Army Corps granted Dominion's permit without conducting a full Environmental Impact Statement, which would have provided alternative options and a public process and comment period.

“There is only one Jamestown, and once development of this magnitude begins, there is no undoing its impacts,” NPCA president and CEO Theresa Pierno said in a statement. “If we allow this to happen to one of America’s most important historic areas, what’s next for our other national parks? We will continue to fight in court to ensure that reckless development does not destroy this treasured and historic area.”

According to Dominion Energy, numerous alternative route were considered, like placing the line under the river, but these other options did not meet strict electrical and reliability standards.

Dominion claims the new lines won't be seen from Jamestown, Colonial Williamsburg, or the Revolutionary Yorktown battlefield.

James River Transmission Line Complaint by 13News Now on Scribd

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