The following is a note from D. Bob Allen from Hampton VA who has been asking about the upcoming Menhaden hearings.
I spoke today with a high official at Virginia Marine Resource Commission and asked why the Menhaden Public Hearing was not being held at NN or VIMS where ASMFC public hearings are normally scheduled ….I was not impressed with the reply….There was a feeling that VMRC /ASMFC did not want to be accused of making it difficult for Omega Protein Employees to attend the Public Hearing ????
I also suggested the officials ask Omega Protein, which is very close to the Northumberland HS, if the Public Hearing could be held on the property of Omega Protein as they have adequate parking and that scenario would be much more convenient for Omega Employees to Attend. I got no answer to that comment.
I also asked for an explanation of why the Northumberland HS Menhaden Public Hearing, which needed to be so nearby to Omega Protein, was scheduled the day after the the Potomac River Commission /ASMFC Menhaden Public (Same Subject) hearing only 40 miles away from Nothnumberland HS. Could not one Public Hearing up there do the job…..why not move the High School hearing somewhat closer to NN , VA Beach, Richmond, Portsmouth….a several hour drive in one direction for those in Tidewater courageous enough to attend.
I told the VMRC/ASMFC official that I did not plan to attend the Public Hearing, no matter how many VA State Troopers or VMRC Marine Police were there.
I consider that conditions now in place will prevent many public comments and many of the public from attending…. ….this meeting at NHS ceases to be a public hearing !!!