Local News

Navy to Hold OLF Public Hearings

Posted March 16, 2007

The Navy will host six public hearings on its plan to build an outlying anding field in eastern North Carolina.

Each scheduled public hearing will be preceded by an open information session to allow interested individuals to review the plan. Navy representatives will be available during the information sessions.

Each information session will occur from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., followed by the formal public hearing from 7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.

Those wishing to speak at the public hearing should arrive early to sign up. Speakers will be heard on a first come first served basis.

Public hearings have been scheduled at the following dates and locations:

  • Monday, March 19: Mattamuskeet Elementary School, 60 Juniper Bay Road, Swan Quarter, N.C.
  • Tuesday, March 20: Bertie High School, 715 U.S. Highway 13 North, Windsor, N.C.
  • Wednesday, March 21: Perquimans County High School, 305 Edenton Road, Hertford, N.C.
  • Thursday, March 22: Craven County Community College, Orringer Hall, 800 College Court, New Bern, N.C.
  • Tuesday, April 3: Beaufort Community College, 5337 U.S. Highway 264 East, Washington, N.C.
  • Wednesday, April 4: Vernon G. James Research and Extension Center, North Carolina State University, 207 Research Station Road, Plymouth, N.C.

Environmentalists say the Navy has ignored the dangers of putting jet aircraft in the same airspace with thousands of waterfowl that spend the winter at Pocosin Lakes Wildlife Refuge. The area also supports a growing population of endangered red wolves.

The Navy favors the site in Washington and Beaufort counties that's about five miles from the refuge because it's close to both Oceana Naval Air Station in Virginia and Cherry Point Marine Corps Air Station in Havelock, where squadrons of Super Hornet fighter jets would be based.

Pilots now train at an auxiliary landing field near Oceana, but that field is crowded by development.

To build the airfield, the government would have to buy out several area farmers and fend off tens of thousands of large migratory waterfowl that winter in the region. The U.S. Agriculture Department says bird flocks could be controlled with fireworks, chemical repellents and dogs. If those tactics don't work, according to the report attached to the Navy's latest environmental study of the site, the department recommends using poison and guns to kill the birds.

Last month, Gov. Mike Easley called on Congress to block $10 million for the airfield site that the Department of Defense requested for next year's budget.


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  • Its me again Mar 17, 2007


  • El Doggo Mar 17, 2007

    You are screwed now! "Public hearings" mean that they have settled the facts in their little pea brains and you have no chance now.

    I am sorry for you - you put up a good challenge...

    Dole and Burr are too busy campaigning and schmoozing in DC to worry about what happens in NC!!!

  • ridgerunner Mar 16, 2007

    The government tells farmers they can't disturb wetlands, trees can't be cut because of spotted owls, but birds in the Navys way may be poisoned or shot, and they are bombing in Stumpy Point because of they had to give a bombing range used for over fifty years in Puerto Rico.

  • lornadoone Mar 16, 2007

    The governer can't stop it because the U.S. Congress controls the purse strings for this. Our senators Dole and Burr are the ones who could stop it, but they don't seem to really care. I don't understand why the Navy can't use one of the other proposed sites, but that's the military for you - they make incompetent decisions that leave everyone scratching their heads.

  • valdli Mar 16, 2007

    written comments are being accepted til April 24th

    Commander, Naval Facilities Engineering Command Atlantic
    Attn: OLF SEIS Project Manager, Code EV21
    6506 Hampton Blvd.,
    Norfolk, Virginia 23508-1278

    for more info check out www.noolf.com

  • Doctor Dataclerk Mar 16, 2007

    And Easley might not have so much time on his hands when Jim Black starts singing.

  • Doctor Dataclerk Mar 16, 2007

    Fly the jets, keep America safe, and a stupid snow goose gets in the way, make chicken salad out of him. Jets fly through the area on a daily basis heading to Stumpy Point Bombing Range, this has nothing to do with the stupid birds and everything to do with people who don't want to be bothered by anything. Land in my yard, GO NAVY!!!!

  • bopeace1999 Mar 16, 2007

    "Close to Oceana & Cherry Point" is relative when you're flying.

    It's not like they'll run out of gas if they have to fly 100 miles further.

    The range of an FA/18 is 1275 nautical miles.

  • whocares Mar 16, 2007

    Gov. Easley has tried to talk to the biggest air head in Washington to explain that no one wants that base except for the Navy. As you can see, talking with air head did nothing. The entire state needs to stand up for what is right and tell the government to go suck an egg. Our tax money is involved in this project and so I think the state should be the biggest part of the decision making process. How much louder do the people of this state have to say NO. I guess the higher ups are just as big an air head as the top dog.

  • valdli Mar 16, 2007

    Written comments can also be made by mailing a letter to...

    Commander, Naval Facilities Engineering Command Atlantic
    Attn: OLF SEIS Project Manager, Code EV21
    6506 Hampton Blvd., Norfolk, Virginia 23508-1278

    or fax: OLF SEIS Project Manager, Code EV21
    (757) 322-4894

    **please call Senators Burr at 202-224-3154 and Dole at 202-224-6342 tell them what you think about this since they haven't made up their minds yet