As a result of significant public pressure and preservation advocacy, Dominion Energy has reversed their plans and announced a decision not to build a towering natural gas compressor in Charles County, Maryland just across the Potomac River from George Washington’s Mount Vernon.

This summer, the National Trust for Historic Preservation listed the viewshed as one of America’s Eleven Most Endangered Historic Places for 2018 and co-hosted a press conference on the lawn of Mount Vernon to kick-off a public Save the View campaign. In the following months, the Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association undertook a comprehensive advocacy strategy hosting many planning meetings and private conversations to dissuade Dominion Energy from building within the viewshed. Preservation Maryland was an active and engaged participant in these meetings and supported the advocacy effort to defeat this proposal.

The pristine viewshed represents decades of involvement and investment by the Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association to protect the Potomac River shoreline and view from encroachments that would ruin the vista that George Washington treasured. Working with Maryland communities and organization, Mount Vernon’s leadership has placed scenic easements on 415 Maryland properties including adjacent to Piscataway National Park.

While the immediate threat is over, Dominion Energy continues to operate their Marshall Hall site in Charles County and is exploring alternative locations for expansion. Mount Vernon and the Save the View partners, including Preservation Maryland remain committed to working with Dominion Energy to identify suitable alternative locations and to secure more conservation easements within the historic viewshed.

The Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association endorses Dominion Energy’s decision not to construct a natural gas compressor station at the Charles County Marshall Hall site. The proposed development posed a threat to the inspiring and historic view from George Washington’s beloved home—a national treasure that we must all work together to protect for future generations. We appreciate the cooperative spirit and support Dominion provided for our preservation efforts, and our partners and stakeholders as well as the tens of thousands of people who have stepped forward to share their concerns and spread awareness about this important cause. – Douglas Bradburn, Ph. D., President & CEO, Mount Vernon

Preservation Maryland commends the Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association for their leadership in advocacy and their decades of stewardship. Moving forward, Preservation Maryland is committed to working with partners across the state and country to continue to protect this critical viewshed and historic resource.

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