Space launches in general aren’t good for the environment. SpaceX launches and vehicles in particular have been plagued with various problems – environmental and otherwise. While not everyone has taken legal action against SpaceX, activists in Texas have and are now allowed to proceed with their lawsuit.
A coalition of environmental and Native American groups won an appeal in a 2021 lawsuit against state and county officials over SpaceX’s recurring closures of Boca Chica beach for Starship testing and launches.
Brandon Lingle, San Antonio Express-News
(TNS) — A coalition of environmental and Native American groups won an appeal in their 2021 lawsuit against state and county officials over SpaceX’s recurring closures of Boca Chica beach for Starship testing and launches.
Texas’ 13th district court of appeals ruled in favor of SaveRGV, the Sierra Club and the Carrizo/Comecrudo Nation of Texas in suits alleging that a 2013 state law allowing beach closures for space flight activities goes against the Open Beaches Amendment to the Texas Constitution.
In July 2022, Cameron County’s 445th District Court dismissed the coalition’s lawsuit, saying the organizations lacked standing in their complaint against Texas Land Commissioner Dr. Dawn Buckingham, the Texas Land Office, Cameron County and Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton.
The appeals court reversed that decision Thursday, allowing the lawsuit to proceed.
The activists’ legal win comes as the commercial space company awaits authorization from the Federal Aviation Administration to attempt the third launch of the 400-foot-tall Starship, which SpaceX has said could be as early as mid-February.