Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Navy Still Targets Washington OLF Site

by Cal Bryant - February 26, 2007 - Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald

The OLF battle continues.

Despite last week’s release of its Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (DSEIS) on the construction of an Outlying Landing Field in eastern North Carolina, opponents of the U.S. Navy’s plan to construct an Outlying Landing Field (OLF) in Washington and Beaufort counties have vowed to continue the fight.

Meanwhile, local officials in Bertie and Gates counties are keeping a close eye on this issue, one that has brewed since 2002.

Washington and Beaufort Counties want the OLF someplace else. Other counties want the OLF someplace else also, just not their counties. The concern is that Washington and Beaufort may win and then the Navy will be looking at them. There is a word for this. They call it NIMBY. That means Not In My Back Yard. It is a problem with the placement of trash yards, sewage plants, prisons, airports, roads . . . etc. The Washington and Beaufort County people are convinced that their reason for wanting the OLF someplace else are valid. NOTHING the Navy (or Bertie, Gates, Perquimans, etc) says will ever convince them the place the Navy wants the OLF is a good place.

The Navy may or may not be right that the place they selected is a good place. However the motivations of the people opposed to the OLF will not change and they will never concede the Navy is right. With this awareness, it is hard to see how anything other than actually constructing the OLF will resolve this issue. When it is built the controversy will end. Until then everyone will continue their NIMBY campaign.

If you wish to express your opinion you can do so at the public hearings on this issue:

Bertie County High School - Tuesday, March 20

Perquimans County High School - Wednesday, March 21

At each location an information session will occur from 4:30-6:30 PM followed by the formal public hearing from 7-10 PM.


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