Notice and Opportunity to Comment on Requests for Consistency
Agreement/Concurrence Under the Texas Coastal Management Program
On January 10, 1997, the State of Texas received federal approval of the Coastal Management Program (CMP) (62 Federal Register pp. 1439-1440). Under federal law, federal agency activities and actions affecting the Texas coastal zone must be consistent with the CMP goals and policies identified in 31 TAC Chapter 501. Requests for federal consistency review were deemed administratively complete for the following project(s) during the period of April 15, through April 22, 2013. As required by federal law, the public is given an opportunity to comment on the consistency of proposed activities in the coastal zone undertaken or authorized by federal agencies. Pursuant to 31 TAC §§506.25, 506.32, and 506.41, the public comment period extends 30 days from the date published on the Texas General Land Office web site. The notice was published on the web site on April 24, 2013. The public comment period for this project will close at 5:00 p.m. on May 24, 2013.
FEDERAL AGENCY ACTIONS:
Federal Agency: Federal Aviation Administration
Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) – SpaceX Texas Launch Site: SpaceX has proposed to construct and operate a private launch site in order to accommodate its launch manifest and meet tight launch windows. SpaceX intends to apply to the FAA/AST for launch licenses and/or experimental permits to conduct launches of the Falcon Program vehicles and a variety of reusable suborbital launch vehicles from the proposed launch site on privately owned property in Cameron County, Texas. Proposed operations would consist of up to 12 launches per year with a maximum of two Falcon Heavy launches, through the year 2022. To support these launches, SpaceX has proposed the construction of a vertical launch area and a control center area in Cameron County, approximately 17 miles east-northeast of the Brownsville/South Padre Island International Airport and approximately 5 miles south of South Padre Island. The approximate 56.5-acre property is completely undeveloped and consists of 25.43 acres of jurisdictional wetlands and 31.07 acres of sporadically vegetated sand dunes. The area surrounding the proposed vertical launch area is primarily used for recreational purposes. Development of the proposed vertical launch area at this location would only occur within 20 acres of the entire 56.5-acre property. The rest of the property would remain open space. Construction at this location for the proposed vertical launch area would generally involve placing fill material to elevate land levels enough to avoid frequent flooding. All facilities would be constructed through private funding, on currently undeveloped privately-owned property that would be purchased or leased by SpaceX. In addition, a new underground power line would be installed in the State Highway 4 road Right-of-Way from the control center area to the vertical launch area. As part of the licensing and permitting process, SpaceX must implement a plan that defines the process for ensuring that any unauthorized persons, vessels, trains, aircraft, or other vehicles are not within the hazard area. SpaceX would coordinate with federal and state agencies on the preparation of a detailed closure plan that describes the procedures for land closure and water closure areas that would limit public access on launch day along State Highway 4, on Boca Chica Beach, and offshore areas. The FAA/AST would likely issue launch specific licenses for the first few years of operation of the exclusive launch site. The requirements for obtaining and possessing a launch license and/or experimental permit are described in 14 CFR Parts 400-450. The completion of the environmental review process does not guarantee that the FAA would issue launch licenses and/or experimental permits to SpaceX to launch from the proposed privately owned site in Cameron County, Texas. Further information can be found in the DEIS available at http://www.faa.gov/about/office_org/headquarters_offices/ast/environmental/nepa_docs/review/documents_progress/spacex_texas_launch_site_environmental_impact_statement/.
CMP Project No.: 13-1019-F2
Pursuant to §306(d)(14) of the Coastal Zone Management Act of 1972 (16 U.S.C.A. §§1451-1464), as amended, interested parties are invited to submit comments on whether a proposed action or activity is or is not consistent with the Texas Coastal Management Program goals and policies and whether the action should be referred to the Land Commissioner for review.>
Further information on the applications listed above, including a copy of the consistency certifications or consistency determinations for inspection may be obtained from Ms. Sheri Land, Director, P.O. Box 12873, Austin, Texas 78711-2873, or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Comments should be sent to Ms. Land at the above address or by email.