McALLEN, Texas (Border Report) — Cameron County said “miscommunication” between the county and SpaceX led to the reported closure of a public beach and highway for an entire work week, but the county has since approved closing both the beach and the road through Friday, plus a couple of days next week.
On Monday, Cameron County officials told Border Report the beach and road would not be closed the entire work week and would reopen on Friday.
But on Wednesday evening, Cameron County Judge Eddie Treviño Jr., announced that he has approved closing Boca Chica Beach and Highway 4 for “non-flight testing activities” from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday.
If needed, SpaceX may also close the beach and road from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Monday and Tuesday.
On Monday, after Border Report reported that the beach and highway could be closed for an entire work week, county officials corrected that by emailing Border Report saying there had been “miscommunication” with SpaceX and that the closures were approved for Tuesday through Thursday.
Now, there are three additional days added, which should not be tolerated by the public, environmentalists have told Border Report.
They said ecological and wildlife studies that are funded by grants have had to be put on permanent hold because there have been over 600 hours of closures this past year at Boca Chica Beach, where SpaceX has built what it calls its Starbase.
The Federal Aviation Administration had restricted closures to 500 hours per year.
A group of environmentalists called SaveRGV is suing, saying it is illegal to close a public Texas beach. A judge has ruled against the group but they have appealed, said member Jim Chapman.
“The people who do care feel defeated. SpaceX does whatever it wants and the county obliges and what can we do?” Chapman told Border Report on Thursday. “People can go to the beach only when SpaceX says they can go to the beach.”
Border Report has asked SpaceX why so many testing days are needed. And has asked county officials why they have approved additional closures.
This story will be updated if responses are received.
Sandra Sanchez can be reached at Ssanchez@borderreport.com