WOODBINE — The Camden County Commission will vote on a proposed agreement Tuesday that could pave the way to establishing a spaceport.

The proposed memorandum of understanding between the Federal Aviation Administration and Camden County Commission will set the framework for an environmental impact statement to address the potential environmental impacts to operating a spaceport about 10 miles east of Interstate 95 at the end of Harrietts Bluff Road.

The study will determine if the FAA grants a launch site operator license to Camden County.

Camden County Administrator Steve Howard said he and other county officials met with FAA officials in Washington on Aug. 11 to complete the pre-application process.

“This is the formalization of the agreement between both parties,” Howard said. “We’re working on a schedule now with the FAA. We hope to have that schedule soon.”

The FAA will select an independent contractor to conduct the study, which will be funded by Camden County. The FAA will also determine the scope of the study and independently evaluate all information.

The contractor and subcontractors will be required to sign a disclosure statement specifying they have no financial or other interest in the outcome of the project.

A plan of study with detailed descriptions of all the work to be performed will be submitted to the FAA for approval. It will include methodologies, the identity and qualifications of each person performing the work, estimated man hours, the schedule and a description of internal and external review procedures to assure quality control.

The FAA will forward the plan of study to the county commission for review and comment. No meeting between county officials and the contractor will be allowed without prior approval from the FAA.

After the draft environmental statement is completed, the FAA, with the contractor’s assistance, will be responsible for organizing and conducting any public hearings.

After a 45-day public comment period, the FAA will release a final environmental statement.

Howard said there is a sense of urgency to complete the study within two years because of an agreement with the owner to purchase the industrial site within two years for $4.8 million.

“We have a due date to work toward,” Howard said. “Some of the time lines are out of our control.”

Reporter Gordon Jackson writes about Camden County and other local topics. Contact him at gjackson@thebrunswicknews.com, on Facebook or at 464-7655.

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