SpaceX Responds to DA Office Letter Regarding Possible Violations of State Law

HARLINGEN, Texas (KVEO) – SpaceX has responded to the Cameron County Attorney’s Office (DA) by warning they may be breaking state law.

SpaceX found itself having to respond to local authorities following a letter sent to the DA’s office by a local non-profit group, Save RGV.

Save RGV wrote to DA and Cameron County Judge Eddie Trevino on June 3 urging the county to stop future road closures because SpaceX had already exceeded the previously agreed number of hours for road closures.

In an attempt to address the concerns, the prosecutor’s office visited the SpaceX facility on June 9 and discovered that a county road was blocked by SpaceX private security, which it wondered. it was properly licensed or not, and also found County Road which had been renamed from Joanna Street to Rocket Road.

On June 11, prosecutor Luis Saenz wrote to SpaceX senior director Shyamal Patel and asked for clarification on these issues as they could be state violations.

SpaceX met with the DA on June 14 and responded with an official letter on June 17 saying there were “misunderstandings” and / or “misinformation” regarding the information that was used as evidence against them.

The letter signed by Patel addresses concerns about security personnel, Rocket Road, authorized closing times and beach mitigation plans, and explains why SpaceX believes they are a “responsible and compliant corporate citizen.”

Regarding the security personnel who arrested DA personnel on Remedios Road, SpaceX ensured that they had a “robust hiring process with required background checks” to ensure that their employees were qualified for their positions. They explained that the security that arrested the DA staff was certified for their position but had been recently hired and was unclear in their role of ensuring that no unauthorized person enters the SpaceX facility. ; instead, it was blocking a road that only led to private property, much of which is owned by SpaceX.

SpaceX assures that they will emphasize to their employees that they are not allowed to block public roads and that they will pursue full training for their security personnel.

The letter further explains that the Cameron County Commissioners Court approved the renaming of Joanna Street on August 15, 2013 and that it was the county’s engineering department that installed the sign.

SpaceX is also suggesting that the county begin the same formal abandonment process for Remedios Street so that SpaceX can maintain it for its own purposes.

According to records kept by SpaceX, this year they used 226 hours and 9 minutes of the 300 hours allocated by the Federal Aviation Administration in an addendum to the 2014 environmental impact statement. SpaceX says the alleged 385 hours are ” not exact ”.

SpaceX adds that they have since started to maintain a live text messaging system to notify the public of road closures.

Finally, SpaceX says they are giving the county “sufficient time” for closure requests to be approved and granted, adding that permission was granted before each closure this year. And when it comes to beach mitigation, SpaceX claims to have contributed in several ways to the preservation and cleanliness of Boca Chica beach and the protection of sea turtles, as well as a donation of $ 25,000 to Friends. of RGV Reef.

Saenz was not available for comment but provided KVEO with the following statement.

“My office has reviewed SpaceX’s response and is engaged in an ongoing review of the issues to ensure Texas law is being followed. While I wish SpaceX the best in its endeavors, I will continue to be attentive to concerns raised by the public and keep the community safe. ”

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About Travis Durham

Travis Durham

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