Environmentalists have filed several concerns about the SpaceX launch site in Boca Chica, Texas, endangering the local terrain and wildlife.
Activists told The Second Angle that the refuge around the SpaceX facility includes beaches, coastal dunes, meadows, tidal flats, rocket debris and water runoff from rocket launches.
Several explosions and failed starts for SpaceX founder Elon Musk, who founded the company in 2002, have resulted in debris and traffic being hurled into the surrounding area.
With Starship, the company's strategy is to develop, launch, repair, and launch again.
In 2018, Musk said in an ABC News interview that they have a lot of land with nobody around, so he said it's cool if a spaceship blows up.
Elon Musk's SpaceX "Disrupting" Wildlife, Environmentalists Say
Environmental groups told The Guardian over the weekend that Musk's space project was disrupting "one of the most unique locations on Earth," with evident implications for animals. The region, they claimed, is littered with rocket debris.
Because of its protected environmental status, Bryan Bird of the national environmental group Defenders of Wildlife called the location "environmentally varied" and "inappropriate."
Bird, a representative of the US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), which is leasing the property to SpaceX, expressed surprise at how the federal government has permitted this to happen. Elon Musk, he said, is constructing a space complex in one of the world's most ecologically varied and unsuitable locations.
Texas News Today said the giant Boca Chica state park is a 404-hectare state-owned property administered by the FWS. The said site provides a natural home for various uncommon animal species. Although portions of it have been leased out throughout the years, including to SpaceX.
Federal Authorities Found No Dangers Linked With SpaceX's Launch Site In Boca Chica
Express said federal authorities initially found no dangers connected with the launch site for wildlife or aviation. However, the US Environmental Protection Agency allegedly called a recent proposal from SpaceX to extend the Boca Chica area by 17 acres "unacceptable."
There are 200 types of birds that eat on the Boca Chica beach and endangered wild cats, or ocelots, that formerly roamed over the southwest. Sea turtles, known as Kemp's Ridley, deposit their eggs on beaches that SpaceX has been criticized for shutting.
Coastal Bend Bays and Estuaries director David Newstead said he never expected there would be no impact from SpaceX being here. Still, he did think government agencies would do more to prevent things like this from happening.
Express said environmental organizations have already threatened SpaceX with a US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) probe.
In a letter to the FAA in 2019, US Fish and Wildlife urged SpaceX's road closures and testing to be halted until "noncompliance concerns" were addressed. According to 60 Minutes, the agency wrote to the FAA in June to report "unauthorized encroachments and trespass on the refuge," including parking on refuge property and constructing a drainage trench.
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