No OLF in Washington County Event Kicks Off in DC

July 13, 2005
Press Release

Washington, D.C. - Today, dozens of Eastern North Carolina residents and activists are talking with lawmakers on Capitol Hill about their opposition to the Navy's proposed site for the Outlying Landing Field in Washington County.

The group's day began with a press conference, led by US Reps. David Price (NC-04) and GK Butterfield (NC-01), who have been fighting against the proposed site. Also participating were representatives from the local community, the US Air Force Bird Aircraft Strike Hazard Team, the North Carolina State Audubon Office, and Freedom Works/Citizens for a Sound Economy.

An abbreviated version of Price's remarks is below:

"It's an honor to be here today among so many people who have worked so hard in their opposition the proposed Washington County site for the OLF, including my colleague, Congressman GK Butterfield.

"I've been part of this effort through my seat on the House Appropriations Military Quality of Life & Veterans Affairs Subcommittee. And I had the honor of urging the Chief of Naval Operations during a subcommittee hearing to go "back to the drawing board" with the Navy's OLF plan.

"Some of you may already know how he answered me. He said they're "planning for success" in their appeal of the court decision that went against them.

"I have to say—that didn't sit well with me. And as a result, I inserted some language into the Military Quality of Life and Veterans Affairs appropriations bill making clear that the House wants the Navy to reconsider alternate sites.

"That was a few months ago. Now, the Navy has reluctantly agreed to reconsider those other sites. Granted, they have been pressed by a US District Court decision to do so, and they should really not be limiting their search to only the originally considered sites. But I know that the overwhelming opposition to the current OLF site, led by the people in this room, has played no small role in this possible change of direction.

"I'll leave it to the experts to share the details of their hard work. But just allow me to say thank you, publicly, for your tireless efforts to protect this community and its wildlife. You are an inspirational example of democracy in action and the power of a few people to make a large difference."

# # #