RELEASE – Immediate DATE - 05-17-2013
CONTACT – Lara Landers PHONE – (919)734-2241
Governor McCrory signs House Bill 484
Governor McCrory signs House Bill 484 today, Friday, May 17, 2013. This marks a significant day to ensure the protection of Eastern North Carolina’s military installations. “The signing of HB484 was a huge win for protecting our military’s low-altitude training routes, bombing practice ranges and other critical military interests in North Carolina,” commented Representative John R. Bell.
On March 28, Representative Bell introduced bipartisan legislation — House Bill 484— establishing a permitting program that takes into consideration the adverse impacts that “wind farms” can have on military readiness in North Carolina. HB484 passed its final reading in the House of Representatives on May 1, 2013 with an overwhelming vote of 112-2. Shortly after the House gave its approval to his legislation, Representative Bell stated “The vote ensures that North Carolina stays the most military-friendly state in the nation.”
Efforts led by Senator Louis Pate and Senator Harry Brown helped lead this bill through the Senate with full support on Tuesday, May 14, 2013. The vote was 48-0.
“Both the House and the Senate passing this bill with overwhelming support, sends a clear message that NC continues to protect its military bases,” said Jimmie Edmundson, Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Wayne County Chamber’s Military Affairs Committee.
Our local leaders, various state agencies, and the wind energy developers have drafted this legislation to ensure protection of existing and future military installations and operations in North Carolina from the threat of vertical encroachment posed by wind energy development. This will protect North Carolina’s substantial economic interest in the continued presence of major military installations and training operations in our State, while also not foreclosing wind energy development that is compatible with military operations.
Ben Seegars, Chairman of the Wayne County Chamber’s Military Affairs Committee stated, “A collaboration of efforts with the Chamber, Military Affairs Committee, City Council, County Commissioners and state delegation, have all worked very diligently to protect these low level training routes that are flown daily by Seymour Johnson Air Force Base. This is not only important for SJAFB, but will help protect the mission of all military installations in Eastern NC.”
Representative Bell stated, “This bill helps protect our military bases that are so important to the economy of Eastern North Carolina and the whole state. The Wayne County Chamber of Commerce and its Military Affairs Committee were instrumental in leading this piece of legislation, and I would like to thank them for their leadership and support during this process.”