BROWNSVILLE, Texas (ValleyCentral) — In Cameron County, construction equipment lines State Highway 48 as part of the construction of the latest NextDecade LNG facility. This development is causing concern among residents in the area.  

“You know, there was utterly and completely no risk or safety issues prior to this,” said Jim Chapman, President of Friends of the Wildlife Corridor. 

NextDecade has started construction of its newest facility, Rio Grande LNG, but the facility is concerning residents over potential dangers.  

“There are risks just in the plant itself, you know, rupture, pipelines, fires, explosions, so forth,” Chapman said. 

The Rio Grande LNG facility transforms natural gas which is cooled to a liquid state, making it easy to store and transport. Residents worry the new facility is being built too close to the SpaceX launch site, although it is about 5 miles away from the site 

Champan says the exact measurements can vary.  

“Rio Grande, LNG is going to be a very long build-out, you know, almost two miles long. So the distance from there to you know, the launch site for SpaceX. It varies a lot from exactly where you’re measuring,” Chapman said. 

Residents and advocates are concerned one small mistake could cause an explosion. Chapman says while the risks are low, the consequences could have a big impact on the area.  

“I think the likelihood of a rocket or a fragment of a rocket, say penetrating the LNG tank or so forth. Well, I think they are very, very small. The consequences would be would just be enormous,” Chapman said. 

NextDecade LNG released the following statement:

“At NextDecade, safety is at the core of everything we do and is why we designed the Rio Grande LNG facility to meet the highest standards of facility security and operational safety, to include debris procedures should a launch or third-party activity ever pose a risk to the facility.”