Illinois Members Demand Answers in Meeting with NGA Director Cardillo

Meeting in Washington follows IL Delegation letter challenging the agency’s rationale for its new site selection

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – In a meeting with National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) Director Robert Cardillo, the bipartisan, bicameral Congressional Delegation representing Southwestern Illinois today demanded to know how a number of factual inaccuracies were missed and risks underestimated in a report which served as the basis for determining North St. Louis as the preferred new site for NGA-West rather than St. Clair County.  


At the conclusion of today’s meeting, U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Mark Kirk (R-IL), and U.S. Representatives Mike Bost (R-IL), John Shimkus (R-IL) and Rodney Davis (R-IL) released the following statement:


“The security assessment and the environmental impact are two of the most important criteria for this project.  Our meeting today raised serious concerns that these elements were not properly studied.  NGA-West is a facility with significant national security importance which demands more attention to detail than it has received. We told representatives from the Army Corps of Engineers today that they need to go back to the drawing board and submit an accurate Final Environmental Impact Statement which made significant mistakes in its original form.  Making such a critical decision without accurate information is unacceptable.”


On April 1, the NGA announced that the Agency Preferred Alternative for the new NGA West Campus was the site in North St. Louis, and not the St. Clair County site next to Scott Air Force Base. Although the public comment period on this decision was initially just two weeks, on April 8, NGA Director Robert Cardillo extended the deadline through May 2 upon the request of the Illinois Delegation members.  That letter can be found HERE.  


Last month, the members sent a letter to Cardillo requesting today’s meeting and raising strong concerns about the agency’s rationale for choosing a new site and suggested that the final decision may not have been based upon correct information.  The letter can be found HERE.


Also attending today’s meeting was St. Clair County Board Chairman Mark Kern, former U.S. Representative Jerry Costello (D-IL), and representatives from the Army Corps of Engineers.