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Military outlines potential missile site for Fort Drum, opens public comment period

Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) interceptors are launched during a successful intercept test Sept. 10, 2013.

The Missile Defense Agency will launch an environmental impact survey of Fort Drum and other installations as it reviews potential locations for an East Coast missile defense site.

If an Eastern site is deemed necessary, the listing said, the site, modeled after Fort Greely, Alaska, would consist of an initial deployment of 20 ground-based interceptors with the ability to expand to 60 interceptors.

The listing said that the interceptors would not be fired from their deployment site “except in the nation’s defense” and no test firing would occur.

Among the impacts to be researched are to the area’s air quality, airspace, culture, geology and soils, health and safety, land use, noise, water quality and aesthetic.

The agency also opened a public comment period and committed to holding a meeting this summer in Carthage about the possibility of a missile site placement.

The agency’s study following a directive from Congress to study Eastern locations. A notice about the study was published in the Federal Register on Wednesday.

Other sites under consideration for missile placement are Camp Ravenna Joint Military Training Center, Ohio; Naval Air Station Portsmouth SERE Training Area, Maine, and Fort Custer Training Center, Mich.

America’s other standing missile defense site is Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif.

The agency said it will put out a public notice about a Carthage meeting, to be held between July and September, closer to when it is scheduled.

Advocates of a new missile site say such a placement is necessary to protect from attacks from North Korea and Iran, while opponents question the high cost of the system, and a questionable accuracy record.

Public comments about placing missiles locally can be submitted to the agency by emailing MDA.CIS.EIS@BV.COM, faxing 913-458-1091, or mailing a letter to: Black & Veatch Special Projects Corp., Attn: MDACIS EIS, 6601 College Blvd., Overland Park, Kan. 66211-1504. Comments will be taken until Sept. 15.

The federal listing can be read at http://wdt.me/PqU6xJ.

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