And the Comments Poured In…
The comment period for the Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the proposed spaceport in Camden County, Georgia closed on June 14, 2018. There were over 14,000 comments submitted to the FAA, the vast majority of which were from those concerned about the impact the spaceport will have on the Cumberland Island National Seashore. The FAA has indicated that it typically receives around 1,000 comments for a project of this nature. This was an incredible outpouring of support for the Cumberland Island National Seashore, which is very much put a risk by the proposed spaceport.
While the number of comments submitted is incredible, it is the substantive nature of so many of the comments that is most noteworthy. For example, the Southern Environmental Law Center submitted one hundred thirty-five single-spaced pages of heavily substantive comments to the Draft Environmental Impact Statement on behalf of One Hundred Miles, National Parks Conservation Association, Center for a Sustainable Coast, Glynn Environmental Coalition, Satilla Riverkeeper and Atlanta Audubon Society. The Southern Environmental Law Center and other commenters have requested that the FAA require the preparation and distribution of a Supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Statement that addresses the thousands of substantive comments that were submitted. A Supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Statement would seem to be a practical necessity if the FAA is interested in complying with the National Environmental Policy Act.
It is truly remarkable what can be accomplished when so many committed individuals and organizations decide that a place is too special to be put at risk. That is the essence of the Protect Cumberland Island campaign. There is much work left to be done, as the elected leadership in Camden County seems undeterred by the thousands of comments submitted to the Draft Environmental Impact Statement.