Army Corps of Engineers Withdraws SpaceX Application to Expand Starship Facilities in Texas

by Megan Molseed
(Photo by Loren Elliott/Getty Images)

The US Army Corps of Engineers has closed an application for a permit to construct an expansion of the SpaceX Starbase facility in Boca Chica, Texas. Consequently, this move will affect plans the SpaceX company, which is run by Tesla CEO Elon Musk, has had in place. Some of these plans include adding new launch pads and landing pads to the area. The US Army Corps notes the decision to withdraw the permit application comes after the company failed to provide crucial information. Much of this information is regarding the environmental impact this construction will have on the area.

What We Know

  • The US Army Corps of Engineers has decided to withdraw the SpaceX application to expand in Texas
  • This change comes after the company failed to provide information regarding environmental factors
  • Withdrawing the permit application will further halt plans for constructing new launch and landing pads in the area
  • The company did offer some responses to environmental concerns, however, these do not include mitigation plans

US Army Corps Cites Lack of Information For Decision to Withdraw SpaceX Application To Expand Texas Starship Facilities

The Us Army Corps has announced that the SpaceX permit application to expand the Texas starship facilities has been closed. The US Army Corps cites a lack of information regarding environmental impacts as the reason for this decision.

In a letter detailing the decision, the Corps notes that SpaceX hasn’t provided the requested information regarding environmental impact mitigation plans. Furthermore, notes the letter, this information is important to gauge the potential impact on the environment related to the proposed construction. More specifically, the US Army Corps was requesting information regarding steps that SpaceX would be taking to minimize environmental impacts. Steps such as limiting water loss and the wetlands surrounding the site.

Withdrawing the Application Will Have An Impact On Multiple Plans For the SpaceX Site

With the now withdrawn application, SpaceX was planning to construct a variety of additions to the starship. These plans include the construction of a new landing pad and launchpad. The plans also include a variety of other infrastructure supporting the existing starship at the Texas location.

However, SpaceX is facing a snag in these plans as the Corps closed the application; after the company failed to provide all the requested information. Specifically, the US Army Corps notes in a March letter, that the plans SpaceX did lay out regarding efforts to minimize environmental impacts “lacked sufficient detail.”

“As of 7 Mar 2022, the SWG Regulatory Office has ‘closed’ the application process,” notes Lynda Yezzi. Yezzi serves as the chief public affairs for the Army Corps.

“Because Space Exploration Technologies has not provided the requested information as outlined in the letter,” Yezzi continues in the statement.

“Without the requested information, the permit process cannot continue,” the statement added.