BROWNSVILLE, Texas (ValleyCentral) — In a letter to SpaceX dated March 7, 2022, the US Army Corps of Engineers advised the company that their permit application was withdrawn after not providing the requested information.
The letter states that in a previous communication, several responses from a public notice were received from several state and federal agencies.
Issues raised by the Corps were also addressed in the letter and the list of the requested information was provided.
However, after only responding to two items on the request and pending two others, the Corps stated “Therefore, your Department of Army Permit application is withdrawn”
Although the letter clarifies the request is withdrawn, it also advises it can be re-initiated if SpaceX addresses the comments and concerns.
The word about the withdrawal raised concerns in the community as they learned of the decision.
“We’re very pleased that the Army Corps of Engineers looked at the comments of the Sierra Club, looked at the concerns of the Fish and Wildlife Service,” said the chair of the Lower Rio Grande Valley Sierra Club Group, Patrick Anderson.
Anderson says the group got together to voice their concerns.
“We sent out information to our supporters and our members and the public and generated over 300 comments to the US Army Corp of Engineers,” he said.
The comments listed in the letter from the group state “SpaceX’s operations are not wetland-dependent.”
They also suggest the operation uses alternative locations such as the McGregor, TX facility and other locations without wetlands.
“We often get that we’re anti-SpaceX or that we’re trying to stop SpaceX, while some of our members do feel that way, many of our members don’t feel that way. It’s our goal to make sure that the laws are being followed and the regulatory process is being adhered to,” he explained.
Jack Yuen, the director of MSX Boca Chica, said he believes some of the delays in approvals for SpaceX launches and projects are due to supporters not being vocal.
“There are factions here of people who are even environmentalists who are supportive of it, except people remain silent and we’re living in this cancel culture society, so if you’re going to say something you’re going to get canceled,” said Yuen.
He said that aside from the money, tourism, and job creation that SpaceX provides, the operation in the Valley can provide a lot more.
“I think that there’s an opportunity for inspiration and to change the aspiration of people here in this community, to something that is maybe a little higher, a little loftier than what they’re used to and if it’s going to happen, it’s going to happen,” he said.