Southeast Volusia Audubon Society, P.O. Box 46, New Smyrna Beach, FL 32170;   president@SEVolusiaAudubon.org


February 2014 Prez Sez


Space Florida, a state agency, has $60 million to develop and build a commercial spaceport and woo commercial rocket launch companies to central Florida.  Despite the fact that there is plenty of space available on the Kennnedy Space Center and Canaveral  Air Force Station, and despite the protests and explanations of the sensitivity and archeological importance of the area, they have settled on an area in MINWR named Shiloh at the intersection of U.S. 1 and State Route 3. 


WE NEED YOUR HELP TO TRY TO DEFEAT THIS BAD PROPOSAL!


The FAA is about to conduct an Environmental Impact Statement scoping process to determine the suitability of the Shiloh area in MINWR as a commercial rocket launch site. 



They are holding a public comment meeting  at the New Smyrna Beach High School auditorium on Feb 11th from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.


WE NEED LOTS OF PEOPLE TO FILL THE AUDITORIUM TO SPEAK AGAINST THIS SCHEME AND REGISTER THEIR OPPOSITION AND HERE IS WHY:


This is a bad place to erect a missile launch facility.  It is in an environmentally sensitive, home to many endangered and threatened species, including the Florida Scrub Jay. 


Damage from launches cannot be contained in the 200 or so acres Space Florida is requesting.  Vapors from the engine exhausts will travel for some distance depending on direction and speed of the winds.  Therefore, animals not inside the acreage will be adversely affected. 


Plants which are food for animals in the area will become toxic and will poison animals that eat them.


The waters of the refuge, including Mosquito Lagoon and the Indian River will be adversely affected by the exhausts and by whatever other pollution the launch companies allow to be dumped.  Since this will be a private spaceport, the companies will not be subject to NASA or MINWR regulations for security or environmental protection.


The area contains the remains of a site that has significant archeological importance.


The people of Oak Hill may be subjected to dispersing volatile exhausts from the launches depending on the winds. 


If a high altitude destruct sequence becomes necessary, other parts of the MINWR, Canaveral National Seashore and perhaps even Oak Hill could be hazarded by falling debris.


At this point, there is no company on record as wanting to use such a location.  SpaceX was touted by Space Florida as the prize, but SpaceX has been launching from the Canaveral AFS and is in negotiations with NASA to use the launch pad 39A.  They are also investing heavily in a site in Texas.  They looked at Eastern Florida but decided it is too populous and launches would have to cross Rte 1 or A1A. 


The Fish and Wildlife Service submitted a report to the FAA saying this is a bad plan, that the damage to the environment and the archeological resources would be terrible and that there are alternatives which should be pursued, indeed, must be studied to comply with the laws governing the Environmental Impact Statements.


WHAT CAN YOU DO?


We need to fill the auditorium at the NSB High School and voice our opposition to the plan.  We can also submit written comments as well.  We need to defeat this plan. Here is the information from the FAA:


 "FAA staff will be present at these meetings to answer general questions on the Proposed Action and the EIS process.  Additional information on the project and the scoping meetings can be found at the following site -

http://www.faa.gov/about/office_org/headquarters_offices/ast/environmental/nepa_docs/review/documents_progress/shiloh_launch_statement/ <http://www.faa.gov/about/office_org/headquarters_offices/ast/environmental/nepa_docs/review/documents_progress/shiloh_launch_statement/> .


The FAA invites members of the public to submit comments or suggestions to assist in identifying significant environmental issues and in determining the appropriate scope of the EIS. Please submit all comments by February 21, 2014 to ensure they are considered during the preparation of the Draft EIS.


The public can provide comments in three ways:

1) provide written comments at the scoping meetings

2) speak directly with the stenographer who will record your comments or speak during the public comment portion at the scoping meetings


3) submit comments to: Ms. Stacey M. Zee, Environmental Protection Specialist, Federal Aviation Administration, Shiloh EIS c/o Cardno TEC Inc., 2496 Old Ivy Road, Suite 300, Charlottesville, VA 22903. Comments can also be sent by e-mail to faashiloheis@cardnotec.com or by fax to (434)-295-5535."


Don