Plans for military jet training waiting to be cleared for takeoff in Central PA

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LOCK HAVEN, CLINTON COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — Military jet training could be coming to Clinton County in the new year, leaving some concerned about disrupting the quiet in rural communities.

Eyewitness News spoke with county commissioners about their concerns and what they hope to see moving forward.

“No one sitting here is opposed to military training, that’s the first thing I think everybody needs to know. But what we are concerned about is the fact that we don’t know what’s going to happen,” Clinton County Commissioner chairman Miles Kessinger said.

Clinton County is one of 6 Pennsylvania counties included in the Duke Military Operating Area Low Project. A-10 Thunderbolt jets from the Maryland Air National Guard (ANG) will fly 100 feet above the ground for training. Clinton County commissioners say this poses a number of concerns.

“First responders, so they have been trying to get information about what will happen if, God forbid, something tragic would happen or there’s an accident,” Commissioner Angela Harding said.

They’re also worried about the impact on wildlife and how the noise could affect tourism.

“They’re saying anywhere from 170 to 272 days a year, two hours in the morning, two hours in the afternoon. That’s four hours a day we could potentially have jets flying over,” Kessinger said.

The county was contacted by Maryland’s ANG earlier this year but haven’t had much communication since then.

“Right now, we’re trying to get some direct conversation with them about it because we have a lot of unanswered questions,” Clinton County vice chairman Jeff Snyder said.

“Come to our community to see the area that they are proposing, to have those townhall meetings to be more transparent,” Harding said.

The military released a draft environmental assessment available online with public comments. Because of the interest, the deadline is extended to December 30th. No decisions are in stone, but aircrafts could hit the region next year.

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