PLEASE NOTE – the public comment period has been extended to June 24, 2013
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)
- Volume I - Executive Summary and Chapters 1-14, April 2013 (PDF)
- Volume II - Appendices, April 2013 (PDF)
- Resumen Ejecutivo, Abril 2013 (Executive Summary – Spanish version) (PDF)
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:
- FAA presentation (PDF)
- Factsheets (PDF)
- Factsheets (en español) (PDF)
- Posters (PDF)
- Carteles de Estaciones (PDF)
Public Comments on the Draft EIS
The FAA encourages all interested parties to provide comments concerning the scope and content of the Draft EIS.
The public comment period for the Draft EIS was originally scheduled to close on June 3, 2013. The FAA received a request to extend the comment period for an additional 21 days. The FAA agreed to this extension, which changes the deadline for submitting comments on the Draft EIS from June 3, 2013 to June 24, 2013. Interested parties can submit comments on the Draft EIS in one of the following ways:
- Email comments to firstname.lastname@example.org
- Fax comments to (410) 990-0455
- Mail comments to:
Ms. Stacy M. Zee
FAA Environmental Protection Specialist
SpaceX EIS c/o Cardno TEC, Inc.
275 West Street, Suite 110
Annapolis, MD 21401
Tips for Effective Comments
- Comments should be as specific as possible instead of using broad statements.
- Focus your comments on the purpose and need for the project, proposed action and alternatives, potential environmental issues, and mitigation measures. Where possible, cite sections of the Draft EIS in your comments.
- Try to keep comments concise and relevant to the Draft EIS.
- Comments that provide specific examples are more effective that comments only stating opposition or support.
Matters that could have been raised with specificity during the comment period on the Draft EIS may not be considered if they are raised for the first time later in the decision process. This commenting procedure is intended to ensure that substantive comments and concerns are made available to the FAA in a timely manner so that the FAA has an opportunity to address them.
Background InformationThe 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.
This webpage provides information on the EIS and how to get involved in the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) process. Interested parties can also read the Council on Environmental Quality's A Citizen's Guide to NEPA (PDF). This Guide describes the NEPA process and provides information on how citizens can get involved. Additional information will be added to this webpage as the EIS progresses to keep you informed about the project. Please send an email to email@example.com if you would like to be added to the project mailing list.