As of Thursday, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced that it will extend the public comment period for the draft environmental assessment of the planned SpaceX Starship/Super Heavy program in Boca Chica, Texas, to include comments received after Sept. 30 until Nov. 1.
It was decided to extend the time for public input in the environmental assessment after a request was made by federal and state agencies participating in the study for an extension of the period. Until the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) completes its license procedure, which includes an environmental assessment, SpaceX, the space firm headed by Elon Musk, will not be able to launch the Starship/Super Heavy spacecraft.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) published a 151-page draft environmental assessment in September. Among other things, the study examines the possible environmental consequences of SpaceX’s first mission plan, as well as debris recovery, local traffic closures in Boca Chica, and other problems.
If the FAA finds that the proposed project’s environmental effects will be substantial “and that those impacts could not be effectively mitigated to less-than-major levels,” the agency will undertake a “more extensive” environmental impact assessment. A request for comment from SpaceX did not get a response right away.
According to Reuters, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) informed SpaceX in July that the agency might compel the company to demolish a new tower because the environmental assessment was not complete.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said in July that it was “in the process of reviewing” SpaceX’s planned rocket assembly “integration tower,” and that “the business is constructing the tower at its own risk.”
A letter from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to SpaceX on May 6 said that building work on one of the two planned 480-foot towers “may complicate the current environmental assessment process for the Starship/Super Heavy Launch Vehicle Program.”
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) may force SpaceX to demolish the tower based on the results of the environmental assessment. “It is conceivable that modifications would need to be done at the launch site, including to the integration towers, in order to avoid severe effects,” the authors write.