Notices

Extension of the Public Comment Period on the Draft Environmental Impact Statement

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) received a request to extend the comment period on the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). We are granting an extension that provides a public comment period of 90 days. Comments on the Draft EIS are now due on June 14, 2018. Please see below the section titled Public Comments for more detail.

Draft EIS — Spaceport Camden

In accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the FAA is announcing the availability of the Spaceport Camden Draft EIS. A copy of the Draft EIS is available here for download.

A paper copy and electronic version (CD-Rom) of the Draft EIS are 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

Public Hearings

The FAA will hold 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 following location:

  • Camden County Public Service Authority Recreation Center Community Room, 1050 Wildcat Drive, Kingsland, GA 31548, (912) 729-5600.

Public Comments

The FAA encourages all interested parties to provide comments concerning the scope and content of the Draft EIS by June 14, 2018.

Send comments by email to faacamdenspaceporteis@leidos.com, or by mail to Ms. Stacey M. Zee, Environmental Specialist, Federal Aviation Administration, c/o Leidos, 2109 Air Park Road SE, Suite 200, Albuquerque, NM 87106.

Comments should be as specific as possible and address the analysis of potential environmental impacts and the adequacy of the proposed action or merits of alternatives and the mitigation being considered. Reviewers should organize their participation so that it is meaningful and makes the agency aware of the viewer's interests and concerns using quotations and other specific references to the text of the Draft EIS and related documents.

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.

Project Description

The Draft EIS for the Camden County, Georgia, Spaceport evaluates the potential environmental impacts that may result from FAA's proposed action of issuing a Launch Site Operator License to the Camden County Board of Commissioners (County). The license would allow the County to offer the commercial space launch site, Spaceport Camden, to commercial launch operators to conduct launches of liquid-fueled, small to medium-large lift-class, orbital and suborbital vertical launch vehicles. Operation would include 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.

The County is 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 evaluates the potential environmental impacts of the proposal, including construction of launch site infrastructure, launch operations, and provisions for visitors and viewing launches. The EIS evaluates the Proposed Action, No Action Alternative, and an Ocean-Only Landing Alternative.

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.

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

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.

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

For questions about the Spaceport Camden EIS, please email faacamdenspaceporteis@leidos.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).