Dear National Coalition to Save Our Mall Members and Friends:
Please send letters, attend, or sign up to testify in defense of the Washington Monument and against obtrusive security plans that could destabilize the monument’s foundation. The National Capital Planning Commission needs to hear from you.
The National Capital Planning Commission (NCPC) has now scheduled a special meeting for Thursday, August 15 to review the National Park Service’s plans for the Washington Monument. (Last week the NCPC removed the Monument from the August 1 agenda.)
Unfortunately, the NCPC will not do as we requested in our July 25 letter and devote a special meeting to review the EA (although it did so for the equally faulty EA for the World War II Memorial). In his July 29 reply to us, Chairman Cogbill states that NCPC staff will review public comments and concerns, but that “The completion of a Finding [FONSI] by the lead federal agency [the National Park Service] does conclude the NEPA review process in accordance with the applicable regulations.” The full letter from NCPC will be posted later today on our website.
The NCPC’s decisions — and your comments and testimony — before and on August 15 are crucial. The Park Service is pressuring NCPC to give them the “preliminary design approval”. But if that happens, the project is well on its way to being a “done deal”. NCPC has the obligation to respond to public comments about the Park Service’s totally inadequate environmental review (the EA and FONSI), the Park Service’s failure to consider serious alternatives as required by law, and the Park Service’s sham “public consultation” at which Park Service staff argue against any and all suggestions made by the public but never consider them seriously.
As more information becomes available — including the NCPC Staff Report on the project — we will let you know and will post it on our website.