Spaceport Camden Proposed Launch Site, Environmental Impact Statement
PROJECT WEBSITE: Spaceport Camden Environmental Impact Statement
All dates below are specific to the schedule of the Environmental Review and Permitting processes for this project.
ENVIRONMENTAL REVIEW AND PERMITTING STATUS
ESTIMATED COMPLETION DATE OF ENVIRONMENTAL REVIEW AND PERMITTING
COOPERATING AGENCY Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Office of Commercial Space Transportation is preparing an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) to analyze the environmental impacts of a proposed commercial space launch site (known as Spaceport Camden) in Camden County, Georgia. The Camden County, Georgia Board of Commissioners (the County) proposes to develop a launch site for the integration, test, and launch of vertical launch vehicles. Under the Proposed Action analyzed in the EIS, the County would construct and operate Spaceport Camden, a commercial space launch site consisting of a vertical launch site, a landing zone, a control center complex, and another facility that would include provisions for visitors and viewing launches. The County plans to offer the site for up to 12 vertical launches per year.
The County will be 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 will evaluate the potential environmental impacts of the proposal, including construction of launch site infrastructure, launch operations, offsite communication, control, and launch facilities, and provisions for visitors and viewing launches. The EIS will evaluate the Proposed Action along with the No Action Alternative, and other reasonable alternatives that may be identified during the scoping process.
The applicant will work together with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to obtain a Section 404 permit, as necessary, before constructing the proposed site.
September 2020 Update:
Revised analyses have confirmed that all potential environmental impacts of the small-lift launch vehicles are subsumed within the potential impacts of the medium-large lift class vehicle disclosed to the public in the Draft EIS, issued in March 2018. Moreover, the FAA will perform additional NEPA analyses for applications from future launch vehicle operators seeking to operate from Spaceport Camden. This additional analysis would address the potential impacts of the launch of their specific vehicle. The FAA also believes that expediting the environmental review process for Spaceport Camden furthers the interests of Executive Order 13927, Accelerating the Nation’s Economic Recovery from the COVID-19 Emergency by Expediting Infrastructure Investments and Other Activities. The FAA has therefore revised its approach and will issue a Final EIS without an additional public comment period.
The Final EIS will address updates to the Proposed Action since the release of the 2018 Draft EIS and will consider the updates across all appropriate resource areas. The Final EIS will incorporate responses to all comments received on the 2018 Draft EIS.
The FAA is actively developing the Final EIS which is expected to be released in March 2021. The Final EIS addresses Camden’s proposed launch site operations.
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