Navy extends public-comment period on bombing range report

pdonohue@beaufortgazette.comAugust 15, 2012 

Navy officials have extended the period during which the public can comment on the proposed expansion of the range.

Residents living near the facility will have until Sept. 27 to submit comments about plans to enlarge the range by 11,000 to 35,000 acres, according to an air station spokesman. The public-comment period was originally set to end Aug. 27.

The Navy's announcement comes about a week after air station officials hosted a pair of public meetings in Ludowici and Darien, Ga., to gather public comments.More than 115 residents attended the two meetings, 24 of whom submitted verbal and written comments about the Navy's environmental report, according to Capt. Jordan Cochran, air station spokesman.

The report was released last month and examined the Navy's plans to expand the range, which covers 5,183 acres in McIntosh County, Ga. It is maintained by the Georgia Air National Guard.

The Navy could purchase as many as three parcels near the range identified as possible expansion sites.

The Navy also could opt not to expand the range, which opened in 1981 and will continue to be used by air station pilots once the base receives its allotment of Joint Strike Fighters in 2013 or 2014.

The report recommended the acquisition of two parcels that would add more than 28,000 acres.

The report did not specify the price of the land but said acquiring it would result in the loss of about $35,000 a year in property tax revenue in McIntosh County and about $131,000 a year in nearby Long County.

Related content

  1. Air station to hold public meetings on bombing range expansion, July 31, 2012
  2. To read the report, go to, www.townsendbombingrangeeis.com

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