About that OLF

The US Navy's plans to dump never-ending noise in the northeast part of our state hit a speed bump last week when the General Assembly wisely passed legislation severely limiting the Navy's ability to commandeer North Carolina land for an outlying landing field. The best coverage of this issue is always out of Virginia.

Asserting its rights under the U.S. Constitution, the North Carolina General Assembly has passed legislation that could complicate any effort by the Navy to build a practice airfield in Camden or Gates counties.

Expected to be signed by the governor next week, the bill says North Carolina does not consent to the Navy taking property for an outlying landing field in a county that does not already have a military base where aircraft squadrons are stationed. It was passed unanimously by the state Senate on Wednesday and by the state House last week.

The bill amends an old state law that for decades has given the federal government blanket permission to take land and build facilities such as military bases and post offices, said Camden County attorney John Morrison. Most states, including Virginia, have similar laws because federal facilities typically are beneficial, he said.

The state amendment invokes Article 1, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution, which says the federal government may not take land without the consent of the state legislature, Morrison said. It says North Carolina does not consent to an OLF in Gates or Camden counties, he said.

This is a very smart and long-overdue action by the legislature. But as the article suggests, the Navy is unlikely to take no for an answer.

Comments

The Navy might not take "no"

The Navy might not take "no" for an answer, but I think this law means they'll have to go to court to get a "yes". I think we should all thank our reps and senators, and the governor herself, for taking this stand for the environment and families of Eastern NC.

What I liked most about this action by

the GREAT STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA is that this bill became a LAW with unanimous consent! Officially, based on US Census numbers of 2000, that was 8,049,313 people saying NO OLF where the people do not wish it! Now that is a lobbyist! The people say NO OLF. How sweet is that?

Thank you People of North Carolina!

It also means that the State Government of North Carolina unanimously realizes that what the Navy is trying to do to our State is an inappropriate action. This action is so inappropriate that an agreement between the State and our Federal Government had to be modified to stipulate just what within our borders is acceptable to us when it came to interpreting the Constitution.

Thank you State Government of North Carolina.

North Carolina is excerting the peoples rights of minimal Federal Government. A quick review of the law that was amended Statute 114-7, that Statute was written to help the Federal Government in the acquisition of needful buildings, such as post offices, etc. The State of North Carolina had to grant special considerations to the Federal Government, or take a lot of time to get simple land grants accomplished. It was a "gentlemans agreement"; it was an agreement that basically stated, "you may have the lands you need for the various needful buildings under Article 8, and we wont be a stumbling block to that growth." It is North Carolina's right under Article 8 to be asked if they wish to support the actions of the Federal government when they impose Article 8. Thanks to the actions by the Navy, that gentleman's agreement had to be modified because of the methodology the Navy was using to leverage the lands.

North Carolina had to tell the Navy, a part of our Federal Government, that the method being employed to acquire lands is not being accepted by the local people, or local government.

Historically, when the Federal Government takes over land, they have exclusive jurisdiction to that land; they call the shots. Now, if the Navy still desires to take our lands, which they may do, the State of North Carolina has said that the State is not giving up their rights to control the lands, or what happens on the land. The State, via the local government, will have an equal say. Where this is good, in my interpretation, is the local government could establish a county ordnance that states nothing that generates a loud noise above say 95 dB may produce that noise at any altitude from 100ft above ground to 499feet above ground anywhere within the confines of the county, without prior approval from the County Commissioners office.

FAA requires planes to stay 500 feet above rural areas, so stopping at 499 is not infringing on them. Because the local government has jurisdiction over the air in the form of noise compliance, they may inact any ordance or law to support the community. If another entity desires to partner with the community, they better convince the local government to resend that ordnance, or they must comply with the ordnance.

It would be extremely stupid on the Navy's part to condemn property, build a runway, hire 60 people, kick out all them people, and then not be able to fly their planes because they did not clear with the commissioners that they may make the noise with their jets. Guess we would be forced to give up the lands, etc, but thanks to this law, the Navy is forced to follow our ordnance.

Navy, me thinks you need to talk to the people of the local governments of North Carolina. We have just a bit more pull then you give us credit.