11/28/04 — Butterfield seeks landing field probe

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Butterfield seeks landing field probe

By Matt Shaw
Published in News on November 28, 2004 2:02 AM

U.S. Rep. G.K. Butterfield, whose district includes Wayne County, is calling on a federal watchdog to investigate claims that politics drove the process for choosing a site for a Naval Outlying Landing Field.

"Up until now, the Navy has publicly alleged that it needed the OLF and that the site in Washington and Beaufort counties was the most suitable," Butterfield said. "Some of the Navy's internal communications brought to light this week certainly bring those assertions into question."

OLF opponents revealed internal Navy e-mails this week that seem to show that the selection process was manipulated, that it failed to objectively review alternate sites and ignored the field's potential harm to a nearby wildlife refuge.

Butterfield is calling on the federal Government Accountability Office to examine the issue to try to ensure that such site selection processes in the future are fair, objective and take the effect on the host community into consideration.