Proposal For Alottabang Phase One Project Reveals Some Details Of Plans

By Betsy Finklea
The proposal for Alottabang Phase One reveals some details about the proposed project that was brought up at the Dillon County Council meeting on Wednesday.
They will have three areas within the approximately 600-acre property that they are attempting to get a special use permit for from the Robeson County Board of Commissioners.
The southern part of the property will be used for storage and maintenance. It will be located 50 feet from the nearest property line and will include 300 feet of security fencing, ATF Storage siting 5,000 lbs. 1.1, ATF Storage siting 50 lbs. 1.4, Solar Security cameras/Intrusion Detection System, and 2×20 foot shipping containers vented and bunkered for energetics storage. Phase Two will include a 60 ft. x 40 ft. concrete pad with steel building and onsite water supply/septic supplied locally (additional permits as required).
The second are will be in the middle of the property is the control area. The distance to the nearest property line is 1,098 feet. It also will include security fending, solar security cameras/IDS system, solar power (generator backup/minimal power requirements), 1×20 foot shipping container bunked or earth covered, heavy equipment storage, and water trucks/fire control storage.
The third area is Training Area One located in the northern part of the property. According to the proposal “all live explosive training will take place in this area.” It says that “this area is clear of all trees and vegetation with approximately 30 acre perimeter fire breaks. Pad elevation will be built a minimum of three feet above base flood elevation. No permanent of temporary utilities will be placed in this area or the buffer zone.” The distance from the property line is 1,027 feet from the west side, 1,981 feet from the south side, 3,035 feet from the east side, and 7,977 feet from the north side.
The concept of operations says: “Team to receive training material (excessive explosive items) from government or private entities); Students to receive advanced demolition and/or IED, explosive tools training scheduled in advance of shipments; All explosive materials stored IAW ATF/DCMA/DOD standards; Items received/short term storage/classes conducted in accordance with Navy EOD Training and Readiness Manual (NAVMC 3500.668); Maximum throughput-One class per week (Three ranges days, Two site remediation days); and Maximum Net Explosive weight for any single shot less than 500 lbs. tamped with 10 feet of earth (Additional training to include NON-live fire exercises/no live explosives; Range not rated for live firearms training.)
The proposal says that the site has no access by the public and the visual impact to other properties “will be negligible.) The only part that will be visible from other properties is the storage area.
The “noise generated by explosive use will be instantaneous/impulse noise.” This is estimated to be less than 115 decibels at a distance of 1,000 feet from the pad. The American Academy of Audiology did not have a reference for 115 decibels but equates 110 decibels as “very loud” such as concerts, car horns, and sporting events and 120 decibels as “uncomfortable (dangerous over 30 seconds)” such as jet planes during take-off. The noise is estimated to be less than 72 decibels at a distance of 3,000 feet from the pad. The American Academy of Audiology equates 70 decibels to the sound of traffic and vacuums.
As far as fire protection, the proposal says that “Alottabang has onsite brush fire suppression equipment and will not rely on local fire departments for post operation response. This property is not accessible by Robeson County emergency services.”
The proposal states that “the applied for use does not currently exist in Robeson County. The site was chosen due to its size and limited access to the public. It is an ideal location to train military and local police departments and bomb squads providing a much-needed service to those entities that is generally difficult to find and/or is prohibitively expensive. The ability to train in this area not only provides these organizations with significantly more cost effective training option for essential lifesaving skills. It also relieves the Defense Department ordinance management organizations with the difficult logistical problem of reducing unnecessary ammunition stockpiles. Additionally, the remaining 3/4 of the property will be managed for timber growth and wildlife development. This will also enable us to host Disable Veterans Charity events and retreats on a regular basis. There is not currently an explosive training facility in Robeson County, and there are no requested or necessary public provided improvements for this use.”
It also states that “While Alottabang will not be normally selling a product applicable to sales tax, the company will rely almost completely on the local economy for site remediation materials, site improvement materials, fuel, hotels and restaurants for non-local students, machine parts and supplies, and consumables.”
The proposal also addresses Shoe Heel and Wilkinson Creeks that run through the center of the property. It states that “no areas will be cleared or leveled in a manner that steers the natural grade away from Shoe Heel Creek. A small agricultural/retention pond can be constructed on the east side of the training pad to capture and filter stormwater runoff from the pad itself. It is Allottabang LLC’s intent to leave the rest of the parcel undevelopment and manage the woodlands as necessary.”
On the special use permit application, the applicant filled in the proposed uses for site as agricultural activities, timber management, and small scale explosive operations/training for military/law enforcement.

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