Office of Commercial Space Transportation; Notice of Availability of the Final Environmental Assessment (EA) for the Midland International Air and Space Port, City of Midland, Midland County, Texas, and Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI), 55064 [2014-21905]

Download as PDF 55064 Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 178 / Monday, September 15, 2014 / Notices DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration Office of Commercial Space Transportation; Notice of Availability of the Final Environmental Assessment (EA) for the Midland International Air and Space Port, City of Midland, Midland County, Texas, and Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Department of Transportation (DOT). ACTION: Notice of availability. AGENCY: In accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, as amended (NEPA; 42 U.S.C. 4321, et seq.), Council on Environmental Quality NEPA implementing regulations (40 CFR Parts 1500–1508), and FAA Order 1050.1E, Change 1, the FAA is announcing the availability of the Final EA for the Midland International Air and Space Port, City of Midland, Midland County, Texas, and FONSI. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Daniel Czelusniak, Federal Aviation Administration, 800 Independence Avenue SW., Suite 325, Washington, DC 20591; email Daniel.Czelusniak@ faa.gov; or phone (202) 267–5924. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Final EA was prepared to analyze the potential environmental impacts of the City of Midland’s proposal to operate a commercial space launch site at the Midland International Airport (MAF) in Midland County, Texas and offer the site to XCOR Aerospace, Inc. (XCOR) for the operation of the Lynx horizontal take-off and horizontal landing reusable launch vehicle (RLV) and engine testing. To operate a commercial space launch site, the City of Midland must obtain a commercial space launch site operator license from the FAA. Under the Proposed Action addressed in the EA, the FAA would: (1) Issue a launch site operator license to the City of Midland for the operation of a commercial space launch site at MAF, (2) issue experimental permits and/or launch licenses to XCOR that would allow XCOR to conduct launches of the Lynx RLV from MAF, and (3) provide approval to modify the existing Airport Layout Plan (ALP) to reflect the designation of a launch site boundary, installation of aboveground propellant storage tanks, and construction of a concrete pad for engine testing. Proposed launch operations would begin in 2014 and continue through 2018. The frequency of launch tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with NOTICES SUMMARY: VerDate Mar<15>2010 17:10 Sep 12, 2014 Jkt 232001 operations would initially be one launch per week, eventually increasing to two launches per day, five days a week. Fifty-two annual launch operations are proposed in 2014. The total number of annual launch operations would increase each year until 2018 when 520 annual launch operations are proposed. The Final EA addresses the potential environmental impacts of implementing the Proposed Action and the No Action Alternative. Under the No Action Alternative, the FAA would not issue a launch site operator license to the City of Midland and thus would not issue experimental permits and/or launch licenses to XCOR for operation of the Lynx RLV at MAF. Also, there would be no need to update the ALP for MAF, and thus there would be no approval of a revised ALP. Existing commercial aviation and military operations would continue at MAF. The impact categories considered in the Final EA include air quality; compatible land use; Department of Transportation Act: Section 4(f); fish, wildlife, and plants; floodplains; hazardous materials, pollution prevention, and solid waste; historical, architectural, archaeological, and cultural resources; natural resources and energy supply; noise; socioeconomic impacts, environmental justice, and children’s environmental health and safety risks; water quality; and wetlands. The Final EA also considers the potential cumulative environmental impacts. The FAA has posted the Final EA and FONSI on the FAA Web site at http:// www.faa.gov/about/office_org/ headquarters_offices/ast/ environmental/nepa_docs/review/ operator/. The FAA published a Notice of Availability of the Draft EA in the Federal Register on March 24, 2014. A Notice of Availability of the Draft EA was also published in the Midland Reporter-Telegram, Odessa American, and Big Spring Herald on March 30, 2014 and in the Big Lake Wildcat on April 3, 2014. The FAA mailed copies of the Draft EA to the following agencies: Texas Historical Commission (State Historic Preservation Officer), Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. An electronic version of the Draft EA was also made available on the FAA Web site. In addition, the FAA printed and mailed a copy of the Draft EA to the following libraries: Midland County Library, Ector County Library, and Reagan County Library. The FAA held an open house public meeting on April 8, 2014 from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at PO 00000 Frm 00110 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 the University of Texas of the Permian Basin, Center for Energy and Economic Diversification. The public comment period ended on April 24, 2014. The FAA received two public comments on the Draft EA, both in support of the Proposed Action. No substantive changes were made to this Final EA. Issued in Washington, DC, on September 9, 2014. Daniel Murray, Manager, Space Transportation Development Division. [FR Doc. 2014–21905 Filed 9–12–14; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–13–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration [Summary Notice No. PE–2014–71] Petition for Exemption; Summary of Petition Received Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT. ACTION: Notice of petition for exemption received. AGENCY: This notice contains a summary of a petition seeking relief from specified requirements of 14 CFR. The purpose of this notice is to improve the public’s awareness of, and participation in, this aspect of FAA’s regulatory activities. Neither publication of this notice nor the inclusion or omission of information in the summary is intended to affect the legal status of the petition or its final disposition. DATES: Comments on this petition must identify the petition docket number and must be received on or before October 6, 2014. ADDRESSES: You may send comments identified by Docket Number FAA– 2014–0331 using any of the following methods: • Government-wide rulemaking Web site: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and follow the instructions for sending your comments electronically. • Mail: Send comments to the Docket Management Facility; U.S. Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., West Building Ground Floor, Room W12–140, Washington, DC 20590. • Fax: Fax comments to the Docket Management Facility at 202–493–2251. • Hand Delivery: Bring comments to the Docket Management Facility in Room W12–140 of the West Building Ground Floor at 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\15SEN1.SGM 15SEN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 79, Number 178 (Monday, September 15, 2014)]
[Notices]
[Page 55064]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2014-21905]



[[Page 55064]]

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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Aviation Administration


Office of Commercial Space Transportation; Notice of Availability 
of the Final Environmental Assessment (EA) for the Midland 
International Air and Space Port, City of Midland, Midland County, 
Texas, and Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI)

AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Department of 
Transportation (DOT).

ACTION: Notice of availability.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: In accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 
1969, as amended (NEPA; 42 U.S.C. 4321, et seq.), Council on 
Environmental Quality NEPA implementing regulations (40 CFR Parts 1500-
1508), and FAA Order 1050.1E, Change 1, the FAA is announcing the 
availability of the Final EA for the Midland International Air and 
Space Port, City of Midland, Midland County, Texas, and FONSI.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Daniel Czelusniak, Federal 
Aviation Administration, 800 Independence Avenue SW., Suite 325, 
Washington, DC 20591; email Daniel.Czelusniak@faa.gov; or phone (202) 
267-5924.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Final EA was prepared to analyze the 
potential environmental impacts of the City of Midland's proposal to 
operate a commercial space launch site at the Midland International 
Airport (MAF) in Midland County, Texas and offer the site to XCOR 
Aerospace, Inc. (XCOR) for the operation of the Lynx horizontal take-
off and horizontal landing reusable launch vehicle (RLV) and engine 
testing. To operate a commercial space launch site, the City of Midland 
must obtain a commercial space launch site operator license from the 
FAA. Under the Proposed Action addressed in the EA, the FAA would: (1) 
Issue a launch site operator license to the City of Midland for the 
operation of a commercial space launch site at MAF, (2) issue 
experimental permits and/or launch licenses to XCOR that would allow 
XCOR to conduct launches of the Lynx RLV from MAF, and (3) provide 
approval to modify the existing Airport Layout Plan (ALP) to reflect 
the designation of a launch site boundary, installation of aboveground 
propellant storage tanks, and construction of a concrete pad for engine 
testing. Proposed launch operations would begin in 2014 and continue 
through 2018. The frequency of launch operations would initially be one 
launch per week, eventually increasing to two launches per day, five 
days a week. Fifty-two annual launch operations are proposed in 2014. 
The total number of annual launch operations would increase each year 
until 2018 when 520 annual launch operations are proposed.
    The Final EA addresses the potential environmental impacts of 
implementing the Proposed Action and the No Action Alternative. Under 
the No Action Alternative, the FAA would not issue a launch site 
operator license to the City of Midland and thus would not issue 
experimental permits and/or launch licenses to XCOR for operation of 
the Lynx RLV at MAF. Also, there would be no need to update the ALP for 
MAF, and thus there would be no approval of a revised ALP. Existing 
commercial aviation and military operations would continue at MAF.
    The impact categories considered in the Final EA include air 
quality; compatible land use; Department of Transportation Act: Section 
4(f); fish, wildlife, and plants; floodplains; hazardous materials, 
pollution prevention, and solid waste; historical, architectural, 
archaeological, and cultural resources; natural resources and energy 
supply; noise; socioeconomic impacts, environmental justice, and 
children's environmental health and safety risks; water quality; and 
wetlands. The Final EA also considers the potential cumulative 
environmental impacts.
    The FAA has posted the Final EA and FONSI on the FAA Web site at 
http://www.faa.gov/about/officeorg/
headquartersoffices/ast/environmental/nepadocs/
review/operator/.
    The FAA published a Notice of Availability of the Draft EA in the 
Federal Register on March 24, 2014. A Notice of Availability of the 
Draft EA was also published in the Midland Reporter-Telegram, Odessa 
American, and Big Spring Herald on March 30, 2014 and in the Big Lake 
Wildcat on April 3, 2014. The FAA mailed copies of the Draft EA to the 
following agencies: Texas Historical Commission (State Historic 
Preservation Officer), Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, and U.S. 
Fish and Wildlife Service. An electronic version of the Draft EA was 
also made available on the FAA Web site. In addition, the FAA printed 
and mailed a copy of the Draft EA to the following libraries: Midland 
County Library, Ector County Library, and Reagan County Library. The 
FAA held an open house public meeting on April 8, 2014 from 5:30 p.m. 
to 8:30 p.m. at the University of Texas of the Permian Basin, Center 
for Energy and Economic Diversification. The public comment period 
ended on April 24, 2014. The FAA received two public comments on the 
Draft EA, both in support of the Proposed Action. No substantive 
changes were made to this Final EA.

    Issued in Washington, DC, on September 9, 2014.
 Daniel Murray,
Manager, Space Transportation Development Division.
[FR Doc. 2014-21905 Filed 9-12-14; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-13-P