Save the James. Stop the Power Lines.
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Please join the Down to the Wire Coalition in urging Dominion Virginia Power to reconsider its plans to ruin the historic landscape of the James River at Jamestown.
The James River and its pristine landscape connect multiple National Park Service managed resources, and includes some of our nation’s most important historic sites, like Jamestown Island, Colonial National Historical Park, and National Historic Landmark Carter’s Grove. The river itself is the Captain John Smith Trail, the nation’s first congressionally designated water trail that traces the English mariner’s exploration of the Chesapeake Bay. Visitors today experience a river landscape that is largely unchanged from the way it appeared in the 17th century. That would no longer be the case if this project is approved.
Dominion is currently pursuing a transmission line across the James that would dramatically alter this cherished landscape, disrupt its wildlife, and jeopardize its many recreational uses. The project also puts at risk decades of investment by the public and private sectors to protect and preserve this important part of our country’s past. No matter how you look at it, this misguided proposal endangers the way we experience a quintessential piece of American history.
How bad is it? Some of the 17 proposed transmission towers will reach as high as 295 feet – nearly the height of the Statue of Liberty. Millions of visitors travel to these sites each year, spending $1 billion and contributing significantly to Virginia’s vital tourism industry. Dominion should not put that at risk by scarring this beloved destination.
We understand the need to provide power to Virginia, but there are alternative solutions that would not endanger the Commonwealth’s priceless heritage. These include burying the power lines below ground, using an existing river crossing, locating the transmission line in a less historically sensitive location, or exploring alternative energy options.
Dominion Virginia Power has the opportunity to do the right thing and route its transmission line in a way that preserves the unique historic, scenic, and natural assets of this region. Let’s hold them to it.
The Down to the Wire Coalition is made up of the following organizations: Chesapeake Conservancy, Garden Club of Virginia, James River Association, Preservation Virginia, Save the James Alliance, Scenic Virginia, National Parks Conservation Association, and the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
- Dominion Virginia Power
I am writing to express my strong opposition to Dominion Virginia Power's plan to construct a high voltage power line and 17 industrial scale towers along the Surry-Skiffes Creek route across the historic James River.
Dominion's current plan would harm nationally significant natural, historic, and scenic resources along the James River, including the Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail, Colonial National Historical Park, Jamestown Island, and Carter's Grove Plantation. This would not only degrade Virginians' quality of life and proud heritage, but also threaten the region's tourism economy.
Dominion's proposal is unnecessarily destructive. Alternatives to the Surry-Skiffes Creek route that would avoid harm to these treasured assets of America's heritage exist and should be fully explored. There are other ways to ensure safe and clean electricity is delivered that don’t harm this region’s unique historic legacy and landscape.
I ask you, respectfully, to act with the greatest urgency to stop this threat that has alarmed local, statewide, and national historic preservation and environmental organizations.
Thank you for preventing an unnecessary and permanent blight on the historic James River for generations to come.
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