Demand for Participation
WHEREAS 2000 acres of farmland near Ruthsburg in Queen Anne’s County, adjacent to Tuckahoe State Park, are reportedly the “preferred site” for a federal Hard Skills Training Center (DOS/DS, Solicitation Number: SS10-DST-01; Response Date: Dec. 18, 2009 5:00 pm. Eastern);
WHEREAS the “preferred site” for the Center raises serious issues under several federal laws and policies, including, without limitation, the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA) and Executive Order 13508, Draft Strategy for Protecting and Restoring the Chesapeake Bay, November 9, 2009;
WHEREAS the “preferred site” also raises serious issues of regional and local concern, including, without limitation, noise and light impacts from weapons firing, high-speed driving, and helicopter traffic; requirements for additional public services (roads, schools, emergency services); safety issues related to surveillance detection exercises in County urban areas; extent and nature of local employment opportunities; environmental issues relating to conversion of protected open space, wetlands, and forests; and effects on stability of the agricultural economy; and
WHEREAS governments at the federal, state and local levels are presently engaged, and have been engaged for months, in addressing these issues, without participation by the citizens most affected by decisions on these issues;
THEREFORE, We, the undersigned citizens of Queen Anne’s, Caroline, and neighboring counties, call on governments at all levels promptly to present complete information to the citizens about the Center and the process by which Ruthsburg became the “preferred site” for it; and
We call on governments at all levels to cease and desist from further decision-making on the Center until citizens have been informed and given an opportunity to be heard.
We further call upon our fellow citizens to establish a RUTHSBURG VIGILANCE COMMITTEE (RVC) to monitor developments, inform the public, and initiate such further actions as may be necessary to protect the health, safety and welfare of the citizens.