02/25/04 — Pate named to OLF board

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Pate named to OLF board

By Staff and Wire
Published in News on February 25, 2004 1:58 PM

RALEIGH -- A group charged with studying the effects of locating a landing field in eastern North Carolina will consist of government, environmental and military officials, Gov. Mike Easley said Tuesday.

Troy Pate of Goldsboro has been selected to serve. Pate is also the co-chairman of the N.C. Advisory Commission on Military Affairs.

The group will examine the proposed landing field and make a recommendation within 60 days regarding the overall effect of the site.

The announcement comes after a series of meetings between Navy officials and Easley.

Sid Eagles, who recently retired as chief judge of the North Carolina Court of Appeals, is chairman of the group.

The panel also will include state Sen. Scott Thomas, D-Craven; Rep. Bill Culpepper, D-Chowan; Crime Control and Public Safety Secretary Bryan Beatty; Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Bill Ross; and two Navy rear admirals.

The group will observe a Navy FA-18 fly-over in Washington County on Friday.

The Navy plans to purchase 30,000 acres in the county to allow pilots to practice carrier-type landings. Many of the jets would come from Oceana Naval Air Station in Virginia.

Opponents of the landing field say the jets could endanger wildlife, including migrating waterfowl, and that the noise will disrupt people's lives.

Lawsuits have been filed to stop the proposal.