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Opposition Continues to Mount Over Proposed Naval Landing Field

The opposition just keeps mounting against a proposed Naval landing field in eastern North Carolina. Now, state lawmakers are making a stand.

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RALEIGH, N.C. — The state House is joining the growing list of politicians to voice their opposition to the proposed Navy landing field in Washington and Beaufort counties.

Several House members introduced a joint resolution Wednesday, asking the Navy to look for a better location for the landing field.

In the resolution, the lawmakers highlight the danger the proposed landing field would pose to wildlife in the Pocosin Lakes National Wildlife Refuge. The area is home to thousands of migratory geese and swans spend the winter.

Lawmakers also urge North Carolina’s congressional delegation to withhold funding for the outlying landing field until the Navy finds a new location.

In a statement, Navy officials said, "the Navy stands behind the rigor of our process to identify and evaluate reasonable alternative sites for an OLF. However, it is important to remember that no decision has yet been made with respect to the ultimate location of the OLF."

Gov. Mike Easley, Sen. Richard Burr and Sen. Elizabeth Dole have already raised questions about the location. Several members of North Carolina’s congressional delegation in the House are also opposed to the location.

The official comment period will conclude May 9, after which the Navy will release its final environmental impact statement. In a news release, North Carolina congressmen G.K. Butterfield and David Price said they have asked the Navy to extend that deadline another 45 days. There has been no word on the Navy's response.

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