MCAS Cherry Point Wants Bombing Ranges To Stop Expanding For Now

The Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point wants the US Army Corps of Engineers to place a six-month suspension on any action or evaluation that would lead to the expansion of the Bombing Target-11 at Piney Island's prohibited area.

Cherry Point has also requested a meeting planned with the Pamlico County Commissioners for Sept. 21 at 7 p.m. be rescheduled for a later date so that environmental experts can be there to address concerns of the community.

In compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act, Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point says it prepared a report to analyze the impacts of supporting and conducting current and increasing levels of military training operations on Cherry Point Ranges. A finding of no significant impact was signed by the MCAS Commanding Officer on February 11, 2009 supporting implementation of an intermittent expansion of the prohibited area around BT-11 and any activity associated with this expansion.

Because of public concerns received and administrative issues identified in documents provided by Pamlico County officials, further examination is needed to determine the impact on future range operations. Officers say it is critical all parties who have an interest or stake in the issue be heard before any decisions are made.

On April 16, 2009, MCAS Cherry Point requested the Army Corps of Engineers approve the intermittent expansion of the water prohibited area around BT-11 to optimize public safety and military training and to protect any vessels that operate in the vicinity of BT-11. MCAS Cherry Point has subsequently requested the six-month suspension of this action.


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