Facts Concerning the Proposed OLF
A door to door survey by Citizens Against OLF has found 166 landowners. None are willing sellers.
A map of the core and contour of the Sandbanks OLF based on maps provided by the Navy. (download map here)
The core of the Sandbanks OLF site contains 1269 acres of wetlands. In fact, in October 2007, the North Carolina Division of Water Quality recommended that the Sandbanks site not be pursued. To read the letter or more about the wetlands in the Sandbanks, click here.
435 acres of the Chowan River is included in the Proposed OLF site. Click here for more info on the Chowan River.
The Chowan Swamp GameLands are included in the proposed OLF site. More than $70 million from the Clean Water Management Trust Fund, the Natural Heritage Trust Fund, and the Parks and Recreation Trust Fund was used to purchase these Game Lands. Taxpayers trusted this land would be conserved for future generations, not degraded and polluted by an OLF. Click here for more.
Sandbanks site was studied by the Navy and disqualified in 2003. Click here.
If there is going to be an outlying landing field in our state, it must be located at a site that is generally acceptable to the local population. I hoped the Navy had learned from past mistakes and that this was the course the service was taking in its selection of six new North Carolina sites. Based on my office’s outreach to many elected leaders in the potentially affected communities, however, it appears that little if any effort was made to confer with local officials during the latest OLF site search. I cannot stress enough that broad local support for an OLF is essential, and I will oppose the Navy’s efforts to acquire any site in North Carolina that fails to meet this standard.
Below are some recent actions I have taken on behalf of eastern North Carolinians concerned about a potential OLF:
Earlier this year, after opposing the Navy’s preferred OLF site in Washington and Beaufort Counties (Site C), I stripped the funding for an OLF at Site C from the defense bill.
After Gov. Easley and the Navy announced on September 18, 2007 the new six potential North Carolina OLF sites (2 in Gates, 2 in Camden, Onslow/Jones border, Duplin/Pender border), I immediately reached out to local officials in affected counties for their feedback.
On September 27, 2007, I wrote the Secretary of the Navy, expressing serious concerns over the process the Navy and the governor used to identify the six sites.
On October 10, 2007, I met with officials from Camden, Chowan, Currituck, Gates, Hertford, Pasquotank and Perquimans Counties, who unanimously told me that they oppose an OLF in northeastern North Carolina because it would bring little to no economic benefits and affect the residents’ quality of life. I stated again that I would oppose any site that did not have local public support.
The following week I facilitated a meeting in Washington D.C. between numerous county officials from northeastern North Carolina and high level officials from the Navy.
Letter retreived from http://dole.senate.gov/index.cfm?FuseAction=Topics.Detail&Topic_id=63 on Dec 1, 2007
Butterfield Concerned about State’s OLF Effort
November 15, 2007
Washington, D.C. – Congressman G. K. Butterfield expressed deep concern about Governor Michael Easley’s approach to finding a suitable site for the proposed Outlying Landing Field. “After months of hearings and meetings the only thing the state and OLF Study Group seem to have determined is what everyone in northeastern North Carolina already knew – there’s overwhelming opposition to the project there,” Butterfield said. Yesterday afternoon, Easley sent Butterfield a letter about the study group’s progress. Easley recommends only that Butterfield “asks the Navy to take these views into account and develop alternative proposals.” Butterfield said that he had expected the state to use its wide array of resources to work with the Navy to identify suitable alternatives, and to focus its attention on sites that have not garnered so much opposition. Moving forward, Butterfield said he will encourage the state to work actively and closely with the Navy “to develop alternative proposals through a clear, full, fair and objective process that is carried out in the light of day.” Butterfield said residents in Gates and Camden counties have understandably expressed numerous concerns about the lack of a public process in identifying possible sites. He said that he will fully support the communities he represents and that he would fight vigorously if the Navy attempts to locate in a community where they are not welcome. “Hopefully this process will yield a solution that is mutually beneficial to the Navy and the people of North Carolina,” Butterfield said.
Information retreived from http://www.butterfield.house.gov/latestnews.asp?ARTICLE3168=10766 on Dec 1, 2007
“The people in Gates and Camden counties do not want the OLF, therefore I do not want the OLF in Gates and Camden,” Easley said.
Quote retreived from http://www.dailyadvance.com/local/content/news/stories/2007/11/16/1116noolf.html?imw=Y
on Dec 1, 2007
TEXT OF LETTER FROM GOV. EASLEY TO NORTH CAROLINA'S CONGRESSIONAL DELEGATION AND SECRETARY OF THE NAVY:
I have enclosed for your reference a letter that I have just received from Judge Sidney S. Eagles that provides a summary of the work of the OLF Study Group over the past eight weeks.
The most important information in this letter was conveyed by the citizens and public officials from affected counties who testified at the Study Group's public meeting in Elizabeth City. They were overwhelmingly opposed to an OLF in their communities. They see an OLF as almost a burden and no benefit.
After carefully consideration of this letter, my recommendation is that you ask the Navy to take these views into account and develop alternative proposals.
With kindest regards, I remain
-- Michael F. Easley --
Information retreived on Dec 1, 2007 from http://www.governor.state.nc.us/News/PressReleases/Default.asp#. To view, select Year: 2007, Month: November and click on full story for Nov 14th.
DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY
COMMANDER IN CHIEF
U.S. ATLANTIC FLEET
1562 MITSCHER AVENUE SUITE 250
NORFOLK, VA. 23551-2487
30 OCTOBER 2000
Naval flight operations and associated jet noise continue to be topics of great interest for all citizens of Hampton Roads. An additional local issue is the potential selection of Oceana as the location for the Navy´s new Super Hornet aircraft, which will replace the F-14 and F/A-I8 C/D) aircraft. The Navy and the Hampton Roads community have enjoyed a superb and mutually beneficial relationship for years and it is in our collective interests to ensure we continue working together to address these important concerns.
It is precisely because of community concerns over jet noise that we are carefully exploring the establishment of an additional outlying field to accommodate Super Hornet training - should these aircraft come to our community - and reduce aircraft operations at our airfields at Oceana and Fentress.
The Navy, in keeping with the law, is presently conducting comprehensive studies to prepare an environmental impact statement, which will help us determine the best location for our Super Hornet aircraft. Integral to this process is the review of potential locations to establish an additional outlying field. The reviews of potential outlying fields that are being undertaken in connection with the environmental impact statement will further that goal.
It is important to understand that we are not exploring the establishment of an additional outlying field to eliminate air operations from Oceana and Fentress, although it would have the effect of reducing those operations. Oceana and Fentress remain critically important to fleet safety and training and, along with an additional outlying field, would be used to ensure the combat readiness of our aircrews.
We need a solution for today´s concerns as well as issues we as a community will face in the future - over the next 50-100 years - when additional high-performance aircraft will join the fleet. I view an additional outlying field as the best solution for the Navy´s concerns and our fellow neighbors in Hampton Roads.
Public understanding is critical to our efforts and I ask for your continued support as we move forward to address these important issues. I am convinced that if we work together, we can all benefit and contribute to a strong Navy and a quality community.
ROBERT J. NATTER
This letter was retrieved from http://www.noolf.com/index.cfm/sid.370/oid.1152 on 11/13/07.
Gates County has a rich history that maybe unknown to the outside world. That does not diminish the importance of our heritage. We have six sites within the county registered on the National Historic Register and hundreds of other sites eligible. We have twenty four farms recognized as North Carolina Century Farms. Many more farms in the county are currently in the process of obtaining the documentation for this recognition.