Notices

The public scoping comment period for the Draft EIS closed on January 18, 2016 following a two-week extension. We reviewed all comments received from members of the public, government agencies, and interest groups and prepared a Scoping Summary Report. The Scoping Summary Report, scoping meeting transcript, and scoping comments have been added below, to the Scoping section.

Please note that the scoping comments contain redacted information. The FAA's written public comment form included the following statement regarding personal identifying information: "Please Note: Before including your address, phone number, e-mail address, or other personal identifying information in your comment, be advised that your entire comment – including your personal identifying information – may be made publicly available at any time. While you can ask us in your comment to withhold from public review your personal identifying information, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so." A good faith effort was made to remove personal identifying information from the comment submissions provided during the public scoping comment period.

Project Description

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Office of Commercial Space Transportation is preparing an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) to analyze the environmental impacts of a proposed commercial space launch site (known as Spaceport Camden) in Camden County, Georgia. The Camden County, Georgia Board of Commissioners (the County) proposes to develop a launch site for the integration, test, and launch of vertical launch vehicles. Under the Proposed Action analyzed in the EIS, the County would construct and operate Spaceport Camden, a commercial space launch site consisting of a vertical launch site, a landing zone, a control center complex, and another facility that would include provisions for visitors and viewing launches. The County plans to offer the site for up to 12 vertical launches and up to 12 landings of associated launch vehicle first-stages per year. Other activities considered under the Proposed Action include recovering spent stages at sea that may be barged back to the site for rehabilitation and reuse; 12 static fire engine tests; and up to 12 wet dress rehearsals, which are a pre-launch test to simulate the countdown of a launch, per year.

The County will be required to obtain a Launch Site Operator License from the FAA for the operation of the proposed Spaceport Camden. The FAA is the lead Federal agency for preparing the EIS for analyzing the environmental impacts of the proposal. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the National Park Service (NPS) are cooperating agencies. The EIS will evaluate the potential environmental impacts of the proposal, including construction of launch site infrastructure, launch operations, offsite communication, control, and launch facilities, and provisions for visitors and viewing launches. The EIS will evaluate the Proposed Action along with the No Action Alternative, and other reasonable alternatives that may be identified during the scoping process.

Notice of Intent

The FAA published a Notice of Intent (NOI) to prepare an EIS, open a public scoping period, and conduct a public scoping meeting in the Federal Register on November 6, 2015. The NOI is available for download here. The NOI is the FAA's official announcement that EIS will be prepared for the County's proposal, and starts the scoping period during which the public is encouraged to provide comments as discussed in the following section. The NOI includes the current scope of the EIS.

Scoping

The FAA invited interested agencies, organizations, Native American tribes, and members of the public to submit comments or suggestions to assist in identifying significant environmental issues and in determining the appropriate scope of the EIS. We reviewed all comments received from members of the public, government agencies, and interest groups and prepared a Scoping Summary Report. The Scoping Summary Report summarizes all input received during the scoping period.

Scoping Summary Report

Public Scoping Meeting

The FAA held an open house public meeting on December 7, 2015, from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the Camden County Public Service Authority Recreation Center, located at 1050 Wildcat Drive, Kingsland, Georgia 31548. The public had the opportunity to speak with project representatives one-on-one and submit written comments or provide oral comments to a stenographer. The public scoping period was originally scheduled to close on January 4, 2016, but in response to public comments, was extended to January 18, 2016.

Scoping Materials

The following materials were made available at the scoping meeting:

Posters

Fact Sheets

Presentation

Contact Information

If you would like to be added to the project mailing list, please send an email to FAACamdenSpaceportEIS@Leidos.com requesting to be added to the project mailing list.

Next Steps and the Draft EIS

The FAA will review all comments received from members of the public, government agencies, and interest groups. Together, the FAA and cooperating agencies will use the scoping comments to identify key environmental topics, additional alternatives, or revisions to the Proposed Action to address in the Draft EIS.

When completed, the Draft EIS will be made available for public review and comment (typically for 45 days). The FAA will notify the public of the availability of the Draft EIS through a Federal Register notice, as well by email or mail for those people who provided their contact information to the FAA. Electronic copies of the Draft EIS will be available to download from the FAA's website. Copies of the Draft EIS will be available in local public libraries. The FAA will hold a public meeting during the Draft EIS review and comment period; the meeting will be similar to the scoping meeting in format and will present the findings of the Draft EIS and allow you to provide oral and written comments on the Draft EIS.

This webpage provides information on the EIS and how to get involved in the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) process. Additional information will be added to this website as the project progresses.