Press Release
Lower Rio Grande Valley National Wildlife Refuge Seeks Comments on Draft Environmental Assessment and Draft Compatibility Determination for SpaceX
SpaceX seeking a Special Use and Right-of-Way Permit for Road Improvement, Maintenance, Repair, Operation, and Underground Utilities at Massey Way Road, Cameron County, Texas

The Lower Rio Grande Valley National Wildlife Refuge (Refuge) has prepared a Draft Environmental Assessment (EA) and Compatibility Determination (CD) for the proposed installation of electrical and fiber optic utilities within the proposed 60-foot road width within Massey Way Road, Cameron County, Texas. The proposed action may be covered under categorical exclusion (516 DM 8.5C4) since the project will be placed within a previously disturbed ROW and poses negligible environmental impacts. 

Space Exploration Technologies Corporation (SpaceX) is proposing to improve, maintain, repair, and operate a road and to install underground utility lines and fiber optic cable along an approximately 0.9-mile portion of Massey Way. A right-of-way (ROW) permit would be required as the proposal will encumber Refuge lands. A Special Use Permit (SUP) will be required for installation of utilities (e.g., power and telecommunications).  No impacts to sensitive fish and wildlife habitats will occur because of the proposed uses. Therefore, no adverse impacts to important fish and wildlife resources such as federally-listed species, migratory birds, or wetlands are anticipated.  A Compatibility Determination is nonetheless required when considering such uses.  

The public is being invited to review the Draft EA and CD. The review period is open until September 14, 2023. A copy of the draft EA and CD will be available for review until the comment period closes. 

The public can contact the refuge regarding these documents by email to: *Please put “EA and CD/SpaceX Massey Road and Utilities” in the subject line of the email. Please contact the refuge with any additional questions.