2002 CPEO Military List Archive

From: Lenny Siegel <lsiegel@cpeo.org>
Date: 30 Apr 2002 21:41:13 -0000
Reply: cpeo-military
Subject: Re: [CPEO-MEF] Sprawl Threatens Operation of Arizona's Luke AFB
Luke Air Force Base is one of the installations where I first learned
about Encroachment. I don't mean "regulatory encroachment," a term some 
in the Defense Department use to refer to environmental regulation. I 
mean the expansion of civilian activities near air bases and ranges, in 
a manner that is likely to curtail military activities there.

I visited Luke in early 2001 to give a talk to Air Force explosive
ordnance disposal (EOD) officers. The Sergeant who drove me out to the
base pointed out the new subdivisions, sprawling across the desert, as
we approached the air base. He pointed out the obvious: A few more
subdivisions, and Luke's aircraft wouldn't have anywhere to fly. That
is, as civilians took ownership of their comfortable new homes on the
far edge of suburban Phoenix, they would complain about the jet noise.
Eventually, if development continued, the base would be forced to
curtail operations.

The solution seems simple. Someone has to buy the land, or at least the 
development rights, near the Luke flight path, to prevent the
construction of additional subdivisions. But there are two questions
that must be resolved first:

1. In purchasing the property, how should the property be valued. Should 
it be evaluated under its current environmental condition, exposure to 
frequent jet noise, or should it be valued on the assumption that the 
flights will stop?

2. Does it make sense for the federal government to spend money on a
buffer zone at Luke if its operations can be moved cost effectively to
another air base, where such purchases will not be necessary?


Lenny Siegel
Director, Center for Public Environmental Oversight
c/o PSC, 278-A Hope St., Mountain View, CA 94041
Voice: 650/961-8918 or 650/969-1545
Fax: 650/961-8918

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