Monday, September 14, 2009

AG Cooper joins fight against OLF in N.C.

AG Cooper joins fight against OLF in N.C.

Reinforcing the adage that it's never too late to do the right thing, N.C. Attorney General Cooper, a Democrat, has backed U.S. Rep. Walter Jones, a Republican, in opposition to the Navy placing an outlying landing field in northeastern North Carolina. In a news release today Cooper's office said it would be difficult for the Navy to operate an OLF in this state because the state has reclaimed concurrent jurisdiction of land the Navy was eyeballing for a practice jet landing field. The General Assembly, which long ago ceded jurisdiction to the federal government for military bases, reclaimed jurisdiction in a recent legislative action, and Cooper's staff says the state will enforce that legislation.

Here's part of a news release the firm of French/West/Vaughan(not the N.C. Department of Justice, as this post originally said) put out today:

In a letter made public today, the North Carolina Department of Justice announced it will support northeastern North Carolinians in their fight against the Navy’s proposed Outlying Landing Field (OLF).

Sent to Rep. Walter Jones, R-Farmville, the department made clear it would enforce legislation by which N.C. retains concurrent jurisdiction of lands seized for an OLF in counties that do not 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,” wrote Chief Deputy Attorney General Grayson Kelley. “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.”

“I am grateful to Attorney General Roy Cooper for his commitment to protect the economic and environmental interests of Eastern North Carolina,” commented Rep. Jones. “I will continue to push for the removal of Hale’s Lake from the list of sites under consideration for the Navy’s Outlying Landing Field.”

"An amendment introduced by Jones and adopted by the U.S. House of Representatives, 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."

For years the Navy tried to site an OLF in Washington County near the Pocosin Lakes National Wildlife Refuge, a proposal that turned out to be untenable because of the danger of collisions with large migratory waterfowl. At first only local residents, environmentalists and outdoors enthusiasts opposed it while politicians stayed away from the issue.

But in time a growing number of officeholders, including U.S. Sens. Richard Burr and Elizabeth Dole and later Gov. Mike Easley, formally opposed it.

The Navy abandoned the Washington County site but has been looking at several other N.C. sites not far from the Virginia border.


Anonymous said...

So much for being the nation's most "military friendly" state

Anonymous said...

This does not change that "most military friendly
state" status. It make NC a smart state. Protect
the people and build the economy by inviting
the Navy to base the jets here, instead of just
shuffling noise out of Va. Beach.

sam said...

This has nothing to do about the military friendliness. This is politics right to the core.

You have Virginian politicians using North Carolina for their poor land use mismanagement.

Virginia had the nerve to formalize a document (HRJLUS) to regulate land in North Carolina by seeking to place and OLF in North Carolina. They even said the OLF would mitigate noise and allow for more development in Virginia.

It is about time North Carolina stand up and get more than the byproduct of what Virginia wants to allow.

We at Cherry Point would love to help Virginia out by hosting a master jet base. We protect our bases and the mission. North Carolina is Military friendly, the weak grow strong and the strong grow great.

Richard said...

Thank you Mr. Attorney General :) the smiley is for you, because finally as Abraham Lincoln once said "I begin to see it..." some light at the end of this very dark tunnel that is not an oncoming train. Thank you from a very worried Moyock resident who doesn't want to imagine what life would be like when the JSF comes online. Thank you again.

Anonymous said...

I am a Camden County resident born and reaised who lived under the jet noise in Virgina Beach for a period of time. The noise is very detrimental and extremely disruptive not to mention many other negative factors. Unfortuneately Virgina is trying to save their econonic interest at the expense of North Carolina. I appreciate our state leaders and local citizens for the strong stand they have taken to protect Northeastern North Carolina. Please continue this fight to protect our farmland and way of life. The Navy has other options.