Citizen group alleges Thurston County airport proposal violates state law. Here’s why
A citizen group claims a proposed site for a new airport in Thurston County violates state law because it overlaps with land controlled by Joint Base Lewis-McChord.
Stop The Airport filed a request for action with the Washington Office of the Attorney General on Monday, according to a news release. The request calls for the Thurston County site to be removed from consideration.
A state commission tasked with locating a site for a new commercial airport decided to keep the so-called “Thurston County Central” site on a short list of options in September. Scores of public officials and citizens have since organized against the proposal, The Olympian previously reported.
Senate Bill 5370, which was passed in 2019, includes two restrictions the Commercial Aviation Coordinating Commission must abide by when selecting a site.
This state law forbids “sitting a facility on or in the vicinity of a military installation that would be incompatible with the installation’s ability to carry out its mission requirements.”
Stop The Airport’s request hinges on its interpretation of the military restriction. They argue “an encroachment of thousands of acres on the federal military facility creates a facial incompatibility.”
The request also calls on the CACC to demonstrate this incompatibility can be overcome prior to proposing the site to the state. It adds the public, the legislature or the Department of Defense should not be burdened with proving that after the fact.