Commander of the US Army Corps of Engineers Louisville district, Colonel Keith Landry says the Army will spend the next few months conducting a federal environmental assessment known as NEPA on three sites: Cucia Park, the Bysiewicz Industrial Park, and Boardman Lane.
This despite months of protests from residents in the Westfield section of Middletown who say building the training facility there will endanger wetlands and disrupt quality of life.
Landry says the Corps understands the community’s concerns but they must at least study the site.
“I believe that means documenting what you find along the way so when it finally gets to the decision-maker, he has solid facts he can hang his hat on that are objective in nature versus ‘You know what? These guys are making a lot of noise so let’s just subject and pull this off.’”
State Attorney General Richard Blumenthal says the Army is wasting its time studying Boardman Lane.
“Not only because of the community’s well-founded opposition as a matter of aesthetic and quality of life issues. But also because environmentally it will never pass the test given the wetlands, the historic preservation issues, and the cultural and aesthetic problems that are inherent in this site.”
Officials have questioned why the Corps is insistent on studying three sites when the city of Middletown and an advisory panel of residents have endorsed Cucia Park, a 40-acre site that appears to meet the training facility’s specifications.
Colonel Landry insists that if the process moves forward as is the right decision will be made for both the community and the Army.
The Corps’ environmental assessment of all three sites is expected to be done by late March or early April. The federal Base Realignment and Closure Act or BRAC requires the facility to be built in Middletown by 2011.