the projects of Elon Musk expand the base of SpaceX in Boca Chica, Texas, they encountered yet another setback. The company’s request to expand its facilities was withdrawn by the authorities, failed to provide the required information on the environmental impact of the project on time.
as collected CNBCthe request of United States Army Corps of Engineers to SpaceX dates back to May of last year. However, the South African-born tycoon’s company has not complied and the procedure for granting the authorization it needs cannot continue without the data in question.
In any case, the fact that they gave up on this SpaceX request does not mean that the process was completely refused. The company can apply for the permit again, but it must start the procedure from scratch and must comply with the requests for information made by the authorities.
The letter sent to SpaceX explains that it has not executed the data requirement, nor presented a compensatory mitigation plan; that is, how the company could cope with the expansion of its facilities without compromising natural resources. It should be mentioned that Elon Musk’s plan is to expand his current base by taking advantage of a land of almost 7 hectares which includes wetlands and mudflats.
What the authorities want to know is how the Boca Chica base expansion will affect wetlands. They also want SpaceX to explain if there are any threatened or endangered species in the area and if the work will directly impact them, and if it knows if the affected area has any historic properties.
SpaceX must account for the environmental impact of its Texas expansion plan
Many of you are probably wondering why the US Army Corps of Engineers got involved in this story. The answer is very simple: because it is responsible for protecting wetlands and overseeing any development that takes place there. This not only aims to safeguard the flora and fauna, but also to avoid a negative impact on the drinking water supply.
It is not yet known if SpaceX has responded to the mail from US Army specialists, or if it has already submitted a new request. Either way, there is every reason to believe that the company’s expansion plans will not materialize in the short term.
This is not the first setback that Elon Musk’s company has suffered for environmental reasons. In December, SpaceX returned to the first orbital view of the Starship ship so that the Federal Aviation Administration needed more time to define whether the otorgaba o no la licencia necesaria, so aún no había completado la investigación del impacto que dicha operación tendría sobre el Environment.
At first it was said that there might be news in February, although it was delayed again later. Now, the clearance is not expected to be available until the end of April.
How could it be otherwise, Elon Musk has already been clouded by the delays his plans in Texas have suffered. In February, the CEO of SpaceX said that did not rule out moving its operations to the state of Florida, if regulatory approvals continue to cause setbacks. Specifically, he mentioned the Kennedy Space Center and Cape Canaveral as hypothetical new destinations, which would turn the Boca Chica base into a research and development center.