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The site under consideration by SpaceX is a privately owned area bounded on three sides by Boca Chica State Park. SpaceX had inquired about using the park as a project site but was told it was “not a viable option,” TPWD spokesman Tom Harvey said.
“This property was acquired to be protected for its unique and sensitive biological values, and to provide public recreational use,” Harvey said.
Harvey noted that the park property is under a 50-year lease to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which is managing the land as part of a program aimed at preserving and restoring habitat for wildlife, including threatened and endangered species.
The FAA is assessing the environmental impacts of the area and will continue to provide opportunities to the public to comment as it did with the meeting in May, said Hank Price, an FAA spokesman.
The state of Texas has been in talks with SpaceX about building its site here and not in Florida or Puerto Rico, sites the company is also considering for its launch area, the Houston Chronicle reported last Friday.
Environment Texas launched a petition drive on Friday to persuade Musk to choose another site in Texas. Director Luke Metzger said he has also contacted other environmental organizations to join him in urging the company to choose another site.
"I love the space program as much, if not more, than anyone," Metzger said in a news release. "But launching big, loud, smelly rockets from the middle of a wildlife refuge will scare the heck out of every creature within miles and sprays noxious chemicals all over the place. It’s a terrible idea, and SpaceX needs to find another place for their spaceport.”