FARMINGTON — A potential intercontinental ballistic missile interceptor base would encompass 600 to 800 acres of about 12,000 acres at the U.S. Navy’s training site in Redington Township.

The Navy already has several buildings on the site and some would have to be relocated, Gary Dion-Bernier, a community plans and liaison officer for the U.S. Navy, said Thursday at the University of Maine at Farmington.

Sentiments on the potential location of a missile interceptor base in northern Franklin County reflected the same opinions voiced Tuesday and Wednesday in Rangeley.

More than 170 people attended the meetings in Farmington and Rangeley.

People raised concerns about the environment, war, the cost and a change in the way they are accustomed to living their lives. Others cited the need to have a base in place in Maine to protect the country against its enemies, and welcomed the possibility of jobs and an influx of workers and revenue.

At Thursday’s meeting, concerns included flammable and toxic missile fuel and water quality.

Advertisement

The U.S. Missile Defense Agency is conducting an environmental impact study on four potential locations for a military interceptor base to be built.

Military properties in Ohio, Michigan and New York also are being considered.

Among the aspects to be considered in the environmental study are air quality, cultural and archaeological resources, cumulative impacts, biological resources, air space management, noise and change in land use.

Community resources will also be analyzed, including the affects on recreation, safety and quality of life.

Once the environmental study is put in draft form, which will be probably in  1½ years from now, there will be public review meetings for the 1,000- to 1,500-page document, Eric Sorrells, Environmental Division chief for the Defense Agency, said.

There would be no test firing of interceptor missiles from the interceptor base, Ellis Gilliland, environmental compliance officer for the agency, said.

Advertisement

Interceptor missiles would only be fired if the U.S. was under attack, he said.

There would be up to 60 ground-based interceptors starting with 20 at the northern Franklin County site. A backup power plant will be built there.

Missile defense components and facilities would be located at multiple sites on the Navy’s property to accommodate the mountainous terrain, Dion-Bernier said.

The entrance to the base would on Redington Road off Route 16. The entrance to the site would be upgraded to asphalt. All living and working facilities would be conducted on site.

The 55-foot long ground-based interceptors would be taken from Bangor International Airport to the site using public roads. Transporting the 75-foot silos may require road upgrades from Augusta to Rangeley, including Route 27 and Route 4.

The Maine Department of Transportation’s road specifications would be analyzed to make sure the roads to be used for transportation could handle the weight of the missiles and silos, Dion-Bernier said.

Advertisement

Several people commented that the Maine site should be ruled out because there are other areas in the country that already have an infrastructure in place like Fort Drum in Fort Drum, N.Y. It is one of the sites being considered on the East Coast.

This is not only a great opportunity for the state of Maine to have a missile defense system in place to provide the country with protection against enemies and protect national security but also for job creation, economic development and diversity of culture, Darryl Brown of Livermore Falls said.

“It is a no brainer; totally inappropriate for this location,” Bob Kimber of Temple said. “Why is that kind of money being spent on more defense when people are starving in the U.S.? Why are we continuing to start wars in this country?”

[email protected]


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.