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Government Space

Brownsville SpaceX Space Port Faces More Regulatory Hurdles 78

MarkWhittington (1084047) writes "It turns out that the recent FAA environmental impact statement that seemed to give a stamp of approval for the proposed SpaceX space port in south Texas is not the end of the regulatory process, but the end of the beginning. A story in the Brownsville Herald reminds us that the report has kicked off a 30 day review period after which the FAA can allow SpaceX to apply for a launch license to start work on the Brownsville area launch facility. And that in turn kicks off a 180 day process during which the FAA makes the decision whether or not to grant the required licensing and permits.

But even that is not the end of the regulatory hurdles that SpaceX must face before the first Falcon rocket roars into the skies over the Gulf of Mexico. The Longview News-Journal reports that a number of state and federal agencies must give their approval for various aspects of the space port before it becomes operational. For instance, the Texas Department of Transportation must give approval for the movement of utility lines. Environment Texas still opposes the space port since it is close to a wild life reserve and a state park. SpaceX has already agreed to enact measures to minimize the impact the space port would have on the environment, 'such as containing waste materials from the construction and enforcing a speed limit in the control center area.' Environment Texas is not impressed, however. Whether it is disposed to make trouble in the courts is an open question."
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Brownsville SpaceX Space Port Faces More Regulatory Hurdles

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  • Re:Non News (Score:5, Insightful)

    by 0123456 ( 636235 ) on Sunday June 08, 2014 @05:22PM (#47191817)

    Remember "Love Canal"? [] This is what happens with no regulation, minimal regulation, or simply ignoring regulation.

    You mean the waste dump the local government pushed the company to sell to them and then built a school on, after having been warned that it was, in fact, a waste dump?

    Yes, if only government had been more involved in that debacle, it would clearly have been much better.

  • Re:Non News (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 08, 2014 @07:14PM (#47192187)

    Yep, the government's lack of involvement was quite distressing. They could have prevented the waste from being placed there, they could have removed the waste after it was placed there. They could have made sure the site was secure. They didn't. A company was allowed to put toxic substances in the ground, in a fashion that was simply inappropriate, and the standards of the time were wholly inadequate.

    And this was repeated hundreds, if not thousands of times across the country, in all sorts of circumstances. What, you think Love Canal is the only site on the Superfund list? It's not even the only site in Niagara that was operated by Hooker Chemicals. We're actually quite lucky that it was a school that suffered harm, people paid attention to it, rather than just brushed off.

    Though it still took until the 1980s for things to start to get done. Which meant that in several cases, the parties responsible for poisoning the environment can barely be identified. So the rest of us often end up paying for it.

Thus spake the master programmer: "Time for you to leave." -- Geoffrey James, "The Tao of Programming"