August 29, 2023

Michael Connor
Assistant Secretary of the Army, Civil Works
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
441 G Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20314

RE: NAO-2012-0080 Surry-Skiffes Creek-Whealton Proposed Meeting Request

Dear Assistant Secretary Connor:

We, the undersigned groups, continue to have significant concerns regarding the Army Corps-managed review of Dominion Energy’s Surry-Skiffes Creek-Whealton 500kV transmission line project across the James River near Jamestown, Virginia. We respectfully request a meeting with you to discuss our concerns prior to the release of a Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) expected this fall.

The Drat EIS released by the Corps’ Norfolk District in November 2020 was seriously flawed and defied the mandate of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit to conduct a more thorough review of the project’s impacts and revisit its analysis under the Clean Water Act and National Historic Preservation Act. Among the many deficiencies we noted in our collective comments on the DEIS, the Norfolk District failed to consider new information made available to the agency prior to the release of the DEIS and failed to consult meaningfully with relevant federally recognized tribes.

We fear that with the release of the FEIS, the Norfolk District will simply “re-approve” the already constructed transmission line without addressing the serious concerns previously shared by the National Park Service, the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, the Environmental Protection Agency, tribal representatives, and the conservation and historic preservation community. Meeting with you prior to an FEIS being issued is imperative to share with you the serious ongoing flaws in the planning process, which can and should be addressed in order to protect nationally significant historic properties, indigenous cultural landscapes, unique aquatic resources, and other important aspects of the local ecosystem.

We invite you to work with us to ensure that the resources and values under your stewardship are ultimately conserved unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations. We respectfully request that your staff contact Pamela Goddard to facilitate a meeting date and time.

 Respectfully submitted,

Jonathan B. Jarvis
18th Director of the National Park Service
2009 – 2017, retired

William J. Cook
Cultural Heritage Partners, PLLC
Rappahannock & Upper Mattaponi Tribes

Elizabeth Kostelny
Chief Executive Officer Preservation Virginia
Historic Jamestowne

Michael B. Murray
Chair, Executive Council
Coalition to Protect America’s National Parks
Elizabeth Merritt
Deputy General Counsel
National Trust for Historic Preservation

Pamela Goddard
Senior Program Director
Mid-Atlantic Region
National Parks Conservation Association

Michelle B. Nowlin
Clinical Professor of Law
Duke Environmental Law and Policy Clinic



Tommy Beaudreau, Shannon Estenoz, Mathew Strickland, Andrew Raddant 
U.S. Department of Interior 

Charles Sams, Frank Lands, Michael Caldwell, Joy Beasley, Roy Sauvajot, Gay Vietzke, Jonathan Meade
National Park Service

Jerri Marr
Colonial National Historic Park

Reid J. Nelson, Jaime Loichinger, John Eddins
Advisory Council on Historic Preservation

Justin Pidot, Jayni Hein, Thomas Sharpe, Sharmila Murthy
Council on Environmental Quality

Jaime Pinkham, Stacey Jensen
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Civil Works 

Stepan Nevshehirlian, Carrie Traver
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency 

Mark Warner, Tim Kaine
United States Senate 

Rob Witman
U.S. House of Representatives

Julie Langan, Roger Kirchen
Virginia Department of Historic Resources