Air National Guard seek public comment on Evers MOA expansion
The Air National Guard is seeking public comment on a proposed expansion of the Evers Military Operations Area in Virginia and West Virginia, according to information from Ramon E. Ortiz, an environmental engineer with the Air National Guard.
According to Ortiz, through a process of interagency and intergovernmental coordination for environmental planning (IICEP), in June 2019 the Air National Guard (ANG) notified relevant federal, state, and local agencies, and federally recognized tribes to request their environmental concerns specific to the proposed expansion for the Evers MOA. The ANG has now completed a Draft Environmental Assessment (EA) and Draft Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) on the potential impacts associated with the modification, expansion, and utilization of the Evers Military Operations Area (MOA) in Virginia and West Virginia to accommodate the training requirements of the 113th Wing of the District of Columbia Air National Guard, and is requesting public comments.
One of the frequently asked questions is about potential increased noise levels on the ground due to the expansion. Though the airspace will be more active, the noise levels to those on the ground will decrease. The Ever MOA is increasing from approximately 450 to 3500 square nautical miles. This increase in land mass in turn decreases overall Air Force presence to the layperson and wildlife on the ground, according to Ortiz. He said, additionally, the altitude at which training is conducted makes for an almost unnoticeable Air Force presence for those on the ground. The simulated air-to-air and air-to ground training occurs at an altitude that provides no significant noise level to those on the ground. However, if a noise complaint is to be made, the public affairs office of the 113th Wing, D.C. Air National Guard will address these complaints and may be contacted at the following number (240) 612-4428.
Notices about the request for public comment have also been published in the local papers in Virginia and West Virginia. The Draft EA and Draft FONSI are available for comment through June 10, 2020 at the following websites: www.113wg.ang.af.mil/EversMOA and www.wv.ng.mil/evers-moa. To be most useful, please submit your written comments by June 10, 2020.
Please submit written comments or requests for additional information to Ramón E. Ortiz, National Guard Bureau 3501 Fetchet Avenue, Joint Base Andrews MD 20762-5157 or via email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks to the Highland County Chamber of Commerce and Executive Director Chris Swecker for the information in this story.