The Proposed Spaceport Camden

Updates on the EIS/ROD schedule and CRD public comment period for the proposed Spaceport Camden.

由于潜在的环境影响和该项目正在考虑的过程,乔治亚保护协会继续对拟议的卡姆登太空港表示严重关切. Because of these continued concerns, many of which have remained unaddressed, our organization is in opposition to the continuance of the proposed Spaceport Camden project, both in its planning and development.

美国联邦航空管理局(FAA)发布最终环境影响声明(EIS)和最终决定记录(ROD)的时间表已经推迟了好几次. EIS和ROD延期发布的部分原因是,卡姆登县于2020年1月提交了一份申请修订,要求将卡姆登太空港从一个中型火箭设施改为一个发射小型火箭的设施. The public, however, 在最终EIS发布之前,FAA没有给予机会就这些拟议的变更对环境的潜在影响发表评论, public resources, and private property.

In June 2021, the FAA released the long-awaited final EIS for the proposed Spaceport Camden site launch license. As of early December 2021, the FAA has yet to issue its Record of Decision (ROD).

FAA EIS总体上赞成批准该项目,并推迟考虑对坎伯兰岛的潜在影响, Little Cumberland Island, the surrounding salt marsh, and the Intracoastal waterway. Additionally, 它并没有充分地解决我们对这个项目及其审议过程的许多关切.

Earlier in 2021, the Coastal Resources Division (CRD) of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources put out a notice for public comment 向卡姆登郡委员会申请沿海一致性认证发射场经营者许可证(LSOL).  As one of the final steps mandated by the EIS process, CRD reviews the project to ensure that it is consistent with state environmental statutes. The public comment period closed on March 8, 2021. Click here to read CRD’s notification.

Our concerns, which have been sent to CRD, are related to the coastal program elements under their purview and include:

  • Potential environmental impacts to the surrounding salt marsh and Satilla River estuary, including compliance of this project with the Georgia Coastal Marshland Protection Act.

  • Disruptions of use of the waterways during and before launches, including parts of St. Andrews Sound and the Intracoastal Waterway.

  • 限制公共财产(坎伯兰岛国家海岸)和私人财产(小坎伯兰岛)的使用期间和之前.

Background of the Proposed Spaceport Camden

卡姆登县正在一个废弃的军火厂所在地建设发射火箭的设施,以寻求经济发展, owned by Dow Chemical, in a rural location four miles west of Cumberland Island National Seashore. The proposed project is known as Spaceport Camden.

Map Courtesy of Southern Environmental Law Center (Click To ENlarge)

The landscape setting on which the proposed Spaceport Camden sits is east of I-95 and borders the Saint Andrews Sound, a dynamic body of water that touches several islands, including Cumberland Island, Little Cumberland Island, Jekyll Island, and Raccoon Key, and one which contains the extensive and high-functioning estuary of the Satilla River. Many threatened, endangered and/or protected species are found in and around the property, including bald eagles, wood storks, indigo snakes, striped newts, and gopher tortoises.

Several years ago, the county seized upon this unique opportunity to redevelop the abandoned site as a privatized satellite launch site. 这个独特的企业(一个太空港)已经被该县作为一个经济发展的机会,将提供就业机会,并使该县的就业基地多样化. Building a spaceport, though, is an uncommon proposition, 这使得卡姆登县和联邦航空管理局向卡姆登县的公民解释变得非常重要, as well as all others who may be impacted by the facility, what to expect from the project. While this is certainly a project never undertaken in the state of Georgia, 近年来,美国各地还建造了其他一些太空港,我们必须从中吸取经验教训.

The feasibility of such an enterprise is a concern, but is beyond the ability of the Georgia Conservancy to fully analyze, therefore, in keeping with our mission, 我们选择利用我们的资源在景观尺度上分析火箭相关操作对环境的影响,并解决与产权相关的问题, both public (State of Georgia and U.S. Department of the Interior) and private.

During the scoping phase of the EIS in January of 2016, the Georgia Conservancy submitted comments related to the Spaceport Camden project. The next step, a draft Environmental Impact Statement for the proposed Spaceport Camden, was issued in March 2018 for comment. EIS草案旨在通过联邦航空局的国家环境政策法案(NEPA)框架解决环境问题. Unfortunately, the cumbersome NEPA draft EIS, 它是由卡姆登县支付的,作为一个发射中型火箭(250英尺高,助推器重达1,500,000 pounds) failed to address these concerns and left us with more questions than answers. Click here to read our comments for the FAA’s 2018 draft Environmental Impact Statement.

卡姆登太空港网站有详细的信息和网站描述,与工业废物污染有关的以前使用该位置, 因此,佐治亚保护协会仍然主要关注拟议的太空港对周围景观的影响(St. Andrews Sound, Cumberland Island, etc.).

Environmental Impacts

卡姆登太空港的独特之处在于,发射轨道将经过私人财产以及国家海岸和荒野地区, and is in close proximity to the Kings Bay Submarine Base. Because of this, the National Park Service and the U.S. Navy issued a list of concerns during the scoping period for the draft EIS. NPS concerns, as well as those of the Georgia Conservancy, were primarily centered on impacts to the park experience and operations, along with impacts to the complex ecology of the island environment, as rockets from Spaceport Camden will be launched directly over Cumberland Island National Seashore. 而环境影响报告书草案则评论了与太空港设施操作和发射相关的照明和噪音对荒野游客体验的潜在影响, 它未能充分解决塔和设施照明问题,这些问题将影响联邦政府威胁的红海龟和联邦政府濒危的棱皮龟的筑巢(濒危物种法案). For these species, there could be additional impacts from night launches during nesting season.

Furthermore, 环境影响报告书草案没有充分说明灾难性事件和发射灾害对附近生态系统生态完整性的影响, including Cumberland National Seashore and Wilderness. 我们建议FAA进一步研究并提供与发射失败相关的最坏情况的详细报告, crashes, in-air, and on-ground explosions and errant rockets, and the impacts that such scenarios would have upon nearby landscapes and waterways, including barrier islands, salt marshes, mainland uplands, rivers, estuaries, and nearshore ocean. They have failed to provide these reports. The draft EIS did not take serious the effect that potential disasters pose to the surrounding areas.

Property Rights - Public & Private

必须指出的是,《hg8868皇冠登录》和环境影响报告书的要求框架并没有涉及产权和可行性问题, which are primary concerns in regards to the Spaceport Camden project. 从EIS草案中,我们了解到每年将有多达12次的发射要求关闭坎伯兰岛国家海岸的地点, as well as the evacuation of campers, hikers and visitors. Notice of closures range from one month to as little as three days prior to launch. EIS草案没有明确说明如何处理这些关闭和疏散,也没有描述对国家海滨游客或工作人员操作的影响.

该项目似乎受到荒野法的挑战,该法案涉及国家公园的土地,这些问题尚未得到充分解决. Separately, 与发射行动中疏散财产有关的私人财产使用(征用)问题没有得到充分解释.

Additionally, the closure and security areas for launches will impact the public use and passage in portions of St. Andrews Sound and the Intracoastal Waterway. 

Please continue to check back here for updates on the proposed Spaceport Camden.

For any questions regarding this matter, please contact Georgia Conservancy Coastal Director Charles McMillan at