The Council sent a letter to the Maryland National Guard asking for an extension of the public comment period from 45 to 90 days and for public meetings in the counties that would be affected-- Cameron, Clinton, Elk, McKean, Potter and Tioga.
The comment period is due to end December 15.
The Maryland National Guard seeks to control airspace by establishing the Duke Low Military Operating Area (MOA). This MOA proposal would permit training units to fly as low as 100 feet above ground level (AGL) for up to 170 days per year. Training is now limited to 8,000 feet above mean sea level (MSL) -- or 6,000-7,000 AGL.
The ANG released the Draft Environmental Assessment (DEA) and has issued a DRAFT Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI). The FONSI states that the ANG finds that the increased, low-altitude flying of A10s, F-16s and other military aircraft will have no significant impact on the welfare of the region.
In its letter, the Council said it works with DCNR, stakeholder groups and the public to implement Pennsylvania’s Environmental Rights Amendment-- "The people have a right to clean air, pure water, and to the preservation of the natural, scenic, historic, and esthetic values of the environment. Pennsylvania's public natural resources are the common property of all of the people, including generations yet to come."
The Council said, “There is a high level of community interest, and we believe your providing additional information and engaging in discussion with the impacted communities will help in the ability to provide their input as envisioned under the National Environmental Policy Act.”
They requested an extension of the public comment period to at least 90 days and requested public meetings be held in the counties that will be directly impacted.
For more information on the Council, visit DCNR’s Conservation and Natural Resources Advisory Council webpage.
-- PennLive - Marcus Schneck: DCNR Advisory Council To Hear Plan For Low-Altitude Military Training Flights Over PA Wilds
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