FAA did not accommodate SpaceX public hearing for Spanish speakers, say local residents

Local News

BROWNSVILLE, Texas (ValleyCentral) — On Wednesday the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) held the second public comment hearing where they allowed anyone three minutes to comment on the environmental assessment of SpaceX’s operation.

Some commenters entered the virtual public hearing from outside of Texas in support of SpaceX and some who were against it.

“Once Star Ship achieves its current dreams of operations, this place will forever be on the map that brought humanity to Mars,” said one public commenter.

However, Brownsville resident Emma Guevara said the FAA did not make the proper accommodations for Spanish speakers.

“In the community that I live in 80% of the people here speak Spanish primarily,” said Guevara.

The FAA announced three days before the first public comment hearing there would be a Spanish translator. Although the presentation slides and Environmental Assessment were not.

“They did show a slide show and a PowerPoint presentation and none of the slides were translated as well,” said Guevara. “Only a summary was translated into Spanish and there was no information about whether or not there would be an interpreter at the Zoom public hearing or any ASL interpretation.”

Multiple area organizations joined the Sierra Club in submitting a complaint to the FAA on Oct. 14 to accommodate for Spanish speakers.

One member of an organization called ‘Another Gulf Is Possible’ confirmed they have not yet heard back from the FAA.

“They don’t make information accessible to the people who actually live here and they just exploit us by saying they’re going to create jobs,” said Guevara.

One of the moderators of Wednesday’s FAA public hearing told ValleyCentral the public comment section will be published here at a late date, though it has not been yet.

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