WOODBINE — Supporters and opponents of a proposed spaceport in Camden County have more time to voice their opinions and ask questions about the project.
The Federal Aviation Administration has extended the public comment period for the Spaceport Camden Environmental Statement at the request of people who said they need more time to comment. The new deadline is Jan. 18.
The number of comments sent through mass emails and posted on blogs, both pro and con, rose dramatically as the initial Jan. 4 deadline to submit comments and questions to the FAA approached.
Opponents sent mass emails with information about potential impacts of the project if the spaceport is approved.
Much of the information was based on research of other launch sites, which led to sharp rebuttals by a consultant hired to help Camden County.
The consultant said it’s not accurate to look at launches at other sites, some decades old, and assume the newer rockets have the same impact. Now, supporters and opponents have another two weeks to convince more people to support their position and encourage them to comment on their environmental concerns regarding the project.
In recent weeks, opponents have made predictions on potential impacts of launches, including closures of the McKinnon St. Simons Airport, the entrance to the busy Brunswick shipping channel, Intracoastal Waterway and commercial and recreational fishing around Cumberland and Jekyll islands.
Some opposing groups are spreading information about the project without checking the accuracy of the facts, supporters say.
A claim that the proposed Camden site would require the use of more than one million gallons of water per launch that first was posted on the website of a local environmental group has now been repeated by the National Parks Conservation Association.
The association said launches would create “a tremendous drain on the area’s resources that would affect the overall health of the seashore.”
Camden County’s consultant said the estimate is for the old Apollo launches. The rockets proposed for use in Camden County would use less than 250,000 gallons — less than one fourth the estimate posted by some opponents.
The parks association also repeated inaccurate claims about potential damages to historic structures and made conclusions about environmental impacts that won’t be known until the environmental study is completed more than a year from now.
Comments, statements, or questions concerning scoping issues or the EIS process should be mailed to: Stacey M. Zee, FAA Environmental Specialist, Spaceport Camden County EIS, c/o Leidos, 20201 Century Blvd., Suite 105, Germantown, MD 20874. Comments may also be sent by email to FAACamdenSpaceportEIS@Leidos.com.