Space Florida proposes to develop a non-Federal launch site that is State-controlled and State-managed. Space Florida's goal is to provide launch site options other than Federal installations/ranges. Under the Proposed Action, Space Florida would construct and operate a commercial space launch site (known as the Shiloh Launch Complex) consisting of two vertical launch facilities and two off-site operations support areas. The Shiloh Launch Complex would accommodate up to 24 launches per year (12 launches per vertical launch facility), as well as up to 24 static fire engine tests or wet dress rehearsals per year (12 static fire engine tests or wet dress rehearsals per vertical launch facility). The vehicles to be launched include liquid fueled, medium- to heavy-lift class orbital and suborbital vertical launch vehicles.
Space Florida will be required to obtain a Launch Site Operator License from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Office of Commercial Space Transportation for the operation of the proposed Shiloh Launch Complex. The FAA is the lead Federal agency for preparing an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, National Park Service, and the Florida Department of State, Division of Historical Resources, State Historic Preservation Office are cooperating agencies. The EIS will evaluate the potential environmental impacts of the proposal (both operations and construction), the No Action Alternative, and other reasonable alternatives that may be identified during the development of the Draft EIS.
This webpage provides information on the EIS and how to get involved in the NEPA process. Additional information will be added to this website as the project progresses. If you would like to be added to the project mailing list, please send an email to email@example.com requesting to be added to the project mailing list.
Notice of Intent
The FAA published a Notice of Intent (PDF) (NOI) to prepare an EIS, open a public scoping period, and conduct public scoping meetings in the Federal Register on December 26, 2013. The NOI is the FAA's official announcement that it will prepare an EIS for Space Florida's proposal and includes the current scope of the EIS.
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.
The FAA held two public scoping meetings to solicit input from the public on potential environmental issues that may need to be evaluated in the EIS. The first meeting was held on Tuesday, February 11, 2014, at the New Smyrna Beach High School Gymnasium in New Smyrna Beach, Florida. The second meeting was held on Wednesday, February 12, 2014, at the Eastern Florida State College in Titusville, Florida.
Each scoping meeting included an hour long open-house workshop from. The open-house workshop consisted of poster stations describing the proposed project and the NEPA process. The FAA and cooperating agency staff answered questions on the proposed project and the NEPA process during the open-house part of the meeting. Next, the FAA gave a presentation on the environmental and FAA licensing process. Finally, the FAA provided the meeting attendees with the opportunity to make an oral statement to give their comments. A stenographer recorded the comments. A summary of the scoping meetings and transcripts from the meetings are available here.
- Scoping Summary Report (PDF)
- Transcript – Tuesday, February 11, 2014 (PDF)
- Transcript – Wednesday, February 12, 2014 (PDF)
The FAA requested that comments be provided no later than February 21, 2014 to ensure they are considered during preparation of the Draft EIS.
Scoping Meeting Materials
The following FAA materials were available at the scoping meetings:
- Shiloh Scoping Meeting Factsheet (PDF)
- Shiloh Scoping Meeting Posters (PDF)
- Shiloh Scoping Meeting Presentation (PDF)
Next Steps and the Draft EIS
The FAA reviewed all comments received from members of the public, government agencies, and interest groups. Together, the FAA and cooperating agencies used the scoping comments to identify key environmental concerns to address in the Draft EIS. The FAA is currently developing the Draft EIS which will include: purpose and need for the proposed action; description of the proposed action and alternatives; existing conditions of the proposed site; evaluation of impacts; and identification of mitigation measures.
When completed, the Draft EIS will be made available for public review and comment (typically for 45 days). The FAA will notify people of the availability of the Draft EIS through a Federal Register notice, as well via 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 public meetings during the Draft EIS review and comment period; the meetings will be similar to the scoping meetings in format and will present the findings of the Draft EIS and allow for the public to provide oral and written comments on the Draft EIS.