There is still time today to help protect the James River and the birthplace of America — Jamestown Island. You can still send a letter today to the Virginia Marine Resources Commission (VMRC) voicing your opposition to Dominion’s proposed transmission line.
Scenic Virginia and a terrific coalition of national, state, and local organizations have worked for nearly five years to protect the scenic, historic, cultural, and natural resources at America’s birthplace — Jamestown — from 27.75 miles of unsightly overhead transmission lines across the James River in James City County.
On Tuesday, June 27 at 9:30 a.m., VMRC will consider Dominion Energy’s request for a permit to cross state-owned river bottomlands to construct these transmission towers, some as tall as the Statue of Liberty. As part of that hearing, Commission members will hear from the public about this project. It’s very important that they hear from you.
What is VMRC? VMRC is a state agency that operates under the Secretary of Natural Resources. The agency is charged with protecting and preserving marine habitats, as well as managing, regulating and developing marine resources. The Commission is made up of seven members who are appointed by the Governor with approval by the General Assembly. Members represent different aspects of the fishing industry. Why is the Commission hearing this permit? The proposed project will encroach on the bottomland and could have an impact on the aquatic life of the James River. A permit is required for the construction of Dominion’s transmission towers for the proposed Skiffes Creek-Surry project.
WHAT CAN I DO?
There are a couple of ways that you can help: You can attend the meeting and/or send a letter stating your opposition to the permit request, as follows:
In person: Join conservation colleagues at the VMRC meeting on the morning of June 27. The address is 2600 Washington Avenue, 4th Floor, Newport News, Virginia 23607.
By email: Send a note addressed to VMRC Commissioner John Bull at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In either case, the message is the same: 1) Ask the VMRC Commissioners to consider energy alternatives that would preserve the river bottom and limit impact on the Atlantic sturgeon, oysters, and other aquatic life of America’s Founding River; and 2) ask them to deny the permit.
SAMPLE LETTER/TEXT FOR YOUR MESSAGE
Subject: Preserve America’s Birthplace: Deny Dominion’s Permit Request
Dear Commissioner Bull,
The integrity of America’s birthplace is at risk, and VMRC has the power to do something about it.
Article XI of the Virginia State Constitution states, “…it shall be the Commonwealth’s policy to protect its atmosphere, lands, and waters from pollution, impairment, or destruction, for the benefit, enjoyment, and general welfare of the people of the Commonwealth.
Virginia’s assets are at risk. Dominion Energy’s transmission line project will permanently and irreparably harm this currently pristine section of the James River and its significant natural, historic, scenic, and environmental assets. Please deny the permit and save this history for future generations.
- I love the American sturgeon, which have recovered from near-extinction. This section of the river is a breeding ground. Please don’t allow it to be destroyed.
- I frequent this section of the river. Because this area is so pristine, I can imagine how it looked in the 17th century.
- Energy alternatives exist, and we should explore them. It is possible to power the Peninsula and preserve this scenic and historic place.
- Generations of Virginians have invested in the preservation of this section of the James River because it’s where our nation began. Let’s not sacrifice those investments for a utility line project.