TX - FAA requires SpaceX to make environmental adjustments to move forward with its Starship program in Texas

The Federal Aviation Administration on Monday concluded a long-awaited assessment of SpaceX’s Starship rocket program in Texas. In a press release, the FAA noted SpaceX will be required to take more than 75 actions to mitigate environmental impacts before the company can receive a launch license.

KEY POINTS

  • The Federal Aviation Administration on Monday concluded a long-awaited assessment of SpaceX’s Starship rocket program in Texas.
  • In a press release, the FAA noted SpaceX will be required to take more than 75 actions to mitigate environmental impacts before the company can receive a launch license.
  • SpaceX needs a license from the regulator to conduct further Starship flight tests and begin operational launches from its private facility.

The Federal Aviation Administration on Monday said it will require Elon Musk’s SpaceX to make dozens of environmental adjustments in order to conduct further Starship flight tests and begin operational launches from its facility in Boca Chica, Texas.

SpaceX will be required to take more than 75 actions to mitigate environmental impacts before the company can receive a launch license for the site, the FAA said in a press release. The mitigations include protections for water resources, limits to noise levels, and biohazard materials control.

Among the requirements, SpaceX will coordinate with a “qualified biologist” on lighting inspections to minimize the impact on sea turtles, operate an employee shuttle between the city of Brownsville and the facility, and perform quarterly cleanups of the local Boca Chica Beach.

The company will also contribute to local education and preservation efforts — including preparing a historical context report of the events of the Mexican War and the Civil War that took place in the area as well as replacing missing ornaments on a local historical marker. The company will also make annual contributions of $5,000 each to organizations that protect ocelots and endangered birds of prey, as well as a state recreational fishing program.

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