BROWNSVILLE, Texas (ValleyCentral) — SaveRGV, alongside four other environmental groups, are suing the FAA for failing to analyze the damage that Starship could cause to the environment.
They are calling for a full environmental analysis to protect endangered species and ensure public beach access.
“There was relief all the way around that it didn’t blow up on the launchpad. It felt that, you know, at least it went up. I mean, there was so much damage anyway, but I think that we are owed the scenario, and what exactly happens if it did blow up on the launchpad?” SaveRGV board member, Maria Galasso said.
Cameron County Officials said nothing indicates a health concern from the April 20 launch at the moment but are currently waiting on testing and reports.
“We’re coordinating to determine what investigations federal agencies are doing. In particular, FAA SpaceX is obviously in the lead with regard to determining what occurred, what happened, the cleanup of the debris, and the removal, so we’ll be in contact with them also. GII from the state will be involved in participating, so we’re at the early stages,” County Judge Eddie Trevino said.
Avian Conservation Biologist Justin LeClaire said even if the launch didn’t cause much damage, continuous launches could cause long-term effects on wildlife, including endangered sea turtles and ocelots.
LeClaire added people living around the area could be directly impacted.
“It’s more about if this continues to happen, basically if there are launches every month, every week, and even if we don’t necessarily see debris raining down every time, these are very powerful launches,” LeClaire said. “People could feel them from four miles away, so how is the wild look and feel from, you know, half a mile a quarter mile.”
Although the launch was a “task that failed successfully,” as Elon Musk called it, there are still concerns about potential health hazards.
“We’re in contact with the state-federal agencies to determine whether or not there should be any concern with regard to that,” Trevino said “We’ll definitely keep the public apprised of any information or any developments that we receive.”