Molly Diggins on the Charlotte OLF Hearing

This is our Executive Director Molly Diggins' first blog post! The first of many we hope:

When I arrived at the Charlotte Convention Center last night, there it was—the mock “No OLF fighter jet” right out in front of the building, surrounded by NO OLF signs. OLF opponents had brought the prop all the way from northeastern North Carolina.

Last night was the last of a series of public hearings on the Navy’s proposed outlying landing field, and the only one in the Piedmont. When National Sierra Club president and Charlotte resident Lisa Renstrom made her comments on behalf of the club, she noted that not everyone would have a chance to speak, and asked opponents in the audience to stand. The entire audience—around 400 citizens, rose to their feet.

The hearing was a great mix of sportsmen, birdwatchers, scientists, ex-military, farmers, and other concerned citizens. It was encouraging that so many elected officials also came out or sent representatives. Lt. Gov. Beverly Perdue and Treasurer Richard Moore both sent spokespersons to make strong statements on their behalf in opposition to Site C. Audubon’s Chris Canfield came with letters from US Representatives McIntyre, Heath Shuler, and Brad Miller, all in strong opposition. That leaves only Reps. Myrick, Foxx and McHenry – and Sen. Dole—who still have not taken a position on the OLF.

When I left the hearing at 11:00 p.m., it was still going strong. Over the course of these past few weeks, the Navy has heard the same message– in person-- from thousands of North Carolinians, from every part of the state: work with Gov. Easley to find a better location.

1 comment:

  1. The inspection of ash impoundment containment dam walls is good, but what about off site ash disposal such as the current activity at the Asheville Regional Airport of Progress Energy ash from Skyland. Its a hugh monofill of ash over a stream and wetlands.....

    What happens when that liner ages and starts seeping metals into the waters below?