Project Status Update
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) continues to work with Federal and state agencies to complete consultations related to compliance with special purpose laws. The results of these consultations will be incorporated into the Final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) expected to be released in late 2019. The Final EIS will also address comments submitted during the public comment period on the Draft EIS.
Draft EIS — Spaceport Camden
In accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the FAA released the Spaceport Camden Draft EIS for a public review. The public comment period on the Draft EIS closed on June 14, 2018. The FAA is in the process of responding to comments submitted on the Draft EIS. The responses to these comment will be incorporated into the Final EIS, when released.
A copy of the Draft EIS is available here for download.
- Volume I — Full version: Executive Summary and Chapters 1–11,
March 2018 (PDF)
- Volume II
Hardcopy and electronic versions (CD-Rom) of the Draft EIS were also available at the following locations:
- Camden County Public Library, 1410 Georgia Highway 40, Kingsland, GA 31548
- St. Marys Public Library, 100 Herb Bauer Drive, St. Marys, GA 31558
- Brunswick-Glynn County Library, 208 Gloucester Street, Brunswick, GA 31520
- St. Simons Island Public Library, 530A Beachview Drive, St. Simons Island, GA, 31522
The FAA held two public hearings to solicit comments on the Draft EIS on Wednesday, April 11 and Thursday, April 12, 2018, from 5:30 pm - 8:30 pm at the Camden County Public Service Authority Recreation Center Community Room, 1050 Wildcat Drive, Kingsland, GA 31548.
The Public Hearing Summary Report and related Appendices are available here for download.
- Public Hearing Summary Report (PDF, 106.8 MB)
Public Hearing Materials
The following materials were made available at the public hearing:
- National Environmental Policy Act (PDF)
- Proposed Action and Alternatives Overview (PDF)
- Proposed Action — Spaceport Camden Facilities (PDF)
- Potential Visual Effects from the Proposed Action (PDF)
- Potential Noise Impacts from the Proposed Action (PDF)
- Potential Land Use Impacts from the Proposed Action (PDF)
- Potential Biological Resources Impacts from the Proposed Action (PDF)
- Federal Aviation Administration — Launch License (PDF)
- Federal Aviation Administration — Launch Site Operator License (PDF)
The Camden County Board of Commissioners (the County) is proposing to construct and operate a commercial space launch site called Spaceport Camden on the Atlantic seaboard in Camden County, Georgia. The County could offer the commercial space launch site to vertical launch vehicle operators for the orbital and suborbital launch of small to medium-large, liquid propellant launch vehicles. Launch operations would include preparatory activities to ready and test launch vehicles and systems, including up to 12 vertical launches and up to 12 associated launch vehicle first-stage landings per year. In support of the launches, there would be up to 12 wet dress rehearsals and up to 12 static fire engine tests per year. First-stage landings could occur on the space launch site or on a barge located about 200 to 300 miles off shore in the Atlantic Ocean.
This EIS evaluates the direct, indirect, and cumulative environmental impacts of construction and operation of the proposed launch site that could result from FAA's Proposed Action to issue a Launch Site Operator License to the County for Spaceport Camden. Launch vehicle operators would be required to obtain a license to launch a specific vehicle or class of vehicle from the launch site. The FAA will conduct additional environmental review and provide further opportunity for public comment before issuing a launch license.
The FAA, as the licensing agency, is the lead agency in the preparation of the Spaceport Camden Environmental Impact Statement (Spaceport Camden EIS). NASA and the National Park Service (NPS) are cooperating agencies. The United States Coast Guard has been participating in the project development process as the agency with jurisdiction to establish waterway safety zones.
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. 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.
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
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.
- Individual Scoping Comments Part 1 (PDF)
- Individual Scoping Comments Part 2 (PDF)
- Individual Scoping Comments Part 3 (PDF)
- Pre-Scoping Comments (PDF)
- Public Meeting Transcript (PDF)
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.
The following materials were made available at the scoping meeting:
- Proposed Action Overview (PDF)
- Proposed Action Activities (PDF)
- NEPA Poster (PDF)
- Licensing and Permitting Poster (PDF)
- Public Involvement Poster (PDF)
For questions about the Spaceport Camden EIS, please email email@example.com.
Next Steps and the Final EIS
All comments received during the public comment period on the Draft EIS will be given equal weight and taken into consideration during the preparation of the Final EIS. In preparing the final EIS, the FAA will revise the draft EIS to reflect comments received.
The final EIS will identify and discuss any unresolved environmental issues and efforts to resolve them through further consultation. The final EIS will reflect compliance with the requirements of all applicable special purpose laws and requirements, including Section 4(f). If such compliance is not possible by the time of final EIS preparation, the final EIS will reflect consultation with the appropriate agencies and provide reasonable assurance that the requirements can be met.
No sooner than 30 days after the Final EIS Notice of Availability (NOA) is published in the Federal Register, the FAA may issue a decision on the proposed action and issue a Record of Decision (ROD).