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NV conservation group supports FERC's transmission planning rule; Memorial Day weekend includes Tornadoes and record-high temperatures; A focus on the Farm Bill for Latino Advocacy Week in D.C; and Southeast Alaska is heating homes with its rainfall.

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U.S. Supreme Court allows South Carolina gerrymander that dilutes Black voters, Sen. Ted Cruz refuses to say if he'll accept 2024 election results, and Trump calls Mar-a-Lago search an attempt to have him assassinated.

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Smokey Bear thought only "you" could prevent forest fires, but decomposing mushrooms may also help, a Native American community in Oregon is achieving healthcare sovereignty, and Colorado farmers hope fast-maturing, drought-tolerant seeds will better handle climate change.

PA Groups Concerned About Maryland Nat'l Guard Flyover Proposal

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Friday, January 28, 2022   

The Maryland Air National Guard is considering a proposal to establish airspace where military planes would fly as low as 100 feet over the Pennsylvania Wilds as part of combat training missions.

Environmentalists worry about the impact on wildlife and community residents. If approved, the Maryland National Guard 175th Wing would control airspace in six northern Pennsylvania counties to fly A-10 Warthog aircraft within 100 to 8,000 feet above ground.

The guard released a draft Finding of No Significant Impact report in October.

Nicole Faraguna, director of the Office of Planning and Policy at the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR), countered the noise from the aircraft could have a big impact on wildlife and people.

"It's about intensity. It's about frequency, and it's about suddenness," Faraguna outlined. "Those are characteristics of a noise that can cause a lot of health issues, not just in animals but in people. It's an environmental issue, it's an economic issue, it's a quality-of-life issue, it's a health issue."

The Pennsylvania Wilds is home to 2.1 million acres of public land. The guard also published its draft environmental impact assessment and accepted public comments on the proposal through Dec. 31.

Faraguna pointed out DCNR, lawmakers and conservation groups are calling for a complete environmental impact statement as part of the National Environmental Policy Act process, which should include public meetings in affected communities that may not know about the proposal.

"For example, there is a growing population of Amish," Faraguna observed. "The plain sect community certainly doesn't have access to the website. And so that's why it was so important to really emphasize the need for public meetings, to bring them here to the Pennsylvania Wilds and really explain and answer questions."

The Maryland Air National Guard did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Faraguna noted the guard will go through the public comments it received and decide whether to submit a final Finding of No Significant Impact report or to do a full environmental impact statement.


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