PLEASE NOTE – The public comment period for the Draft EIS is closed. The Final EIS is being prepared and will be posted on this webpage once published.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Office of Commercial Space Transportation (AST) is preparing an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) to evaluate the potential environmental impacts that may result from the FAA/AST proposal to issue launch licenses and/or experimental permits to Space Exploration Technologies Corporation (SpaceX). The launch licenses and/or experimental permits would allow SpaceX to launch the Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy orbital vertical launch vehicles and a variety of smaller reusable suborbital launch vehicles from a launch site on privately-owned property in Cameron County, Texas.

Draft Environmental Impact Statement — SpaceX Texas Launch Site (Draft EIS)

Copies were sent to persons and agencies that requested a copy. CDs of the Draft EIS are also available at the following locations:

  • Brownsville Public Library Main Branch, 2600 Central Boulevard, Brownsville, Texas 78520
  • Southmost Branch Library, 4320 Southmost Boulevard, Brownsville, Texas 78520
  • University of Texas at Brownsville, Oliveira Library, 80 Fort Brown Street, Brownsville, Texas 78521

Public Hearing on Draft EIS

The FAA held a public hearing to obtain comments on the Draft EIS. The hearing was held on May 7, 2013 at the ITEC Center in Brownsville, TX. The format of the public hearing included a poster information session, an FAA presentation, and a public statement period in which members of the public provided statements.

Materials from the public hearing are available for download:

Public Comments on the Draft EIS

The FAA is addressing all public comments received during the public comment period and revising the EIS appropriately.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) Biological and Conference Opinion (BCO)

In compliance with Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act, the FAA conducted formal consultation with the USFWS to evaluate the potential impacts of the Proposed Action on federally listed threatened and endangered species and designated critical habitat. The evaluation also included a species currently proposed for listing. The USFWS issued its Final Biological and Conference Opinion (PDF) on December 18, 2013, concluding the consultation process.

National Historic Preservation Act Section 106 Programmatic Agreement (PA)

In compliance with Section 106 and 36 CFR §800.6, the FAA is developing a Programmatic Agreement (PA) with the Texas State Historic Preservation Officer, National Park Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, and SpaceX to address the potential adverse effects to historic properties should the Proposed Action be implemented. The PA will be posted on this webpage (and included in the Final EIS or Record of Decision) once executed by all parties.

Background Information

The FAA published a Notice of Intent (NOI) (PDF) in the Federal Register on April 10, 2012 to prepare an EIS, open a public scoping period, and conduct a public scoping meeting.

The FAA also invited interested parties to submit comments or suggestions to help identify potentially significant environmental issues. A public scoping meeting was held to solicit input from the public on May 15, 2012, from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the International Technology, Education and Commerce Center in Brownville, Texas. The scoping comment period closed on May 30, 2012. The Scoping Summary Report (PDF) summarizes the activities during, and the results of, the official public scoping period.

Additional information will be added to this webpage as the EIS progresses to keep you informed about the project. Please send an email to faaspacexeis@cardnotec.com if you would like to be added to the project mailing list.