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TX - SpaceX Seeks OK to Expand South Texas Launch Facilities

SpaceX requested the permit modification so it can move ahead with the expansion and addition of pads for testing, orbital launches and landing; towers for loading payloads into rockets; and other requests.

(TNS) — SpaceX wants to modify an existing permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for its  Boca Chica  launch facilities so it can expand those facilities, which will impact mud flats and wetlands.

USACE is soliciting public comments on the proposed modification and expansion to inform its decision making on whether to grant the company's request. The deadline to submit comments is April 20.

SpaceX requested the permit modification so it can move ahead with the expansion and addition of pads for testing, orbital launches and landing; "integration towers" for loading payloads into rockets; and "associated infrastructure, stormwater management features and vehicle parking," according to the USACE public notice soliciting comments.

The proposed expansion of the launch area, a stone's throw from where S.H. 4 dead-ends at Boca Chica Beach, would affect nearly 11 acres of mud flats, almost six acres of estuarine wetlands, and more than a quarter-acre of non-tidal wetlands. A new landing pad would affect 2.2 acres of salt flat and a much smaller area of high marsh, according to USACE, while the roughly 50-vehicle parking area would be built on 0.19 acres north of S.H. 4 directly across from the launch area.

Read also: "EPA, FWS says SpaceX expansion will adversely affect environment" Port Isabel South Padre Press

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