Local Politics

AG to back fight against landing field

Posted September 14, 2009 2:52 p.m. EDT

— In a letter made public Monday, the state state Attorney General's Office said it would support northeastern North Carolina residents in their fight against the Navy’s proposed landing field.

Officials told Third District Congressman Walter Jones that they plan to enforce legislation by which the state retains concurrent jurisdiction of lands seized for an outlying landing field, or OLF, in counties that don't have existing military bases. Sharing jurisdiction would allow those counties and the state to subject the Navy to a number of laws, including noise ordinances.

“Without full jurisdiction over property acquired for an OLF, it appears that the Navy would have difficulty in operating a military base,”  Chief Deputy Attorney General Grayson Kelley said in the letter. “The Attorney General’s Office will therefore continue to carefully monitor all legal issues related to the OLF siting process and be prepared to act as necessary to protect the economy and environment of eastern North Carolina.”

An amendment introduced by Jones and adopted by the U.S. House would prohibit the creation of an OLF at either the Hale’s Lake site in Camden County or the Sandbanks site in Gates County. Included within the annual National Defense Authorization Act, the provision will be debated in conference committee when Congress convenes from recess.


“This is good news for the people of eastern North Carolina,” Camden County Attorney John Morrison said in a statement. "It is gratifying the office of the attorney general has recognized the constitutional impact of recent legislation and is prepared to take necessary action to defend our counties from economic and environmental destruction.”