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Office of Commercial Space Transportation; Notice of Availability and Request for Comment on the Environmental Assessment (EA) for the Jacksonville Aviation Authority (JAA) Launch Site Operator License at Cecil Field, Florida (FL)

AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Department of Transportation.
ACTION: Notice of availability, notice of public meeting, and request for comment.
SUMMARY: In accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, as amended ((NEPA) 42 U.S.C. 4321et 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 and requesting comments on the EA for the Jacksonville Aviation Authority (JAA) Launch Site Operator License at Cecil Field, FL.

The EA was prepared in response to an application for a Launch Site Operator License from the JAA. Under the Proposed Action, the FAA would issue a Launch Site Operator License to JAA to operate a facility for horizontal launches and landings of suborbital manned reusable launch vehicles (RLVs). These vehicles, when operated out of Cecil Field, could carry space flight participants, scientific experiments, or payloads. The proposed launch site is located within the city limits of the City of Jacksonville, FL in Duval County, approximately 15 miles southwest of downtown Jacksonville. The EA addresses the potential environmental impacts of issuing a Launch Site Operator License for the Proposed Action and the No Action Alternative.

The FAA has posted the EA on the FAA/AST Web site athttp://ast.faa.gov.In addition, CDs of the EA were sent to persons and agencies on the distribution list (found in Chapter 7 of the EA). A paper copy and a CD version of the EA may be reviewed for comment during regular business hours at the following locations:

Jacksonville Public Library--Argyle Branch, 7973 Old Middleburg Road South, Jacksonville, FL 32222. Jacksonville Public Library--Webb Wesconnett Regional, 6887 103rd Street, Jacksonville, FL 32210. Jacksonville Public Library--West Regional, 1425 Chaffee Road South, Jacksonville, FL 32221. Jacksonville Public Library--Main Branch, 303 N Laura St., Jacksonville, FL 32202. Green Cove Springs Library, 403 Ferris St., Green Cove Springs, FL 32043.
DATES: The public comment period for the Draft EA begins with the publication of this NOA. To ensure that all comments can be addressed in the Final EA, comments on the draft must be received by the FAA no later than May 20, 2009.

The FAA is holding a public hearing on the Draft EA. The public hearing will be held on May 14, 2009 from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Cecil Commerce Center, 13561 Lake Newman St., Jacksonville, FL. Meeting registration and a general poster session will occur from 6 to 6:30 p.m. The FAA will present information about the Draft EA and licensing process at 6:30 p.m. followed by a public comment period in which members of the public will be provided the opportunity to provide both written and oral comments on the Draft EA. A court reporter will transcribe the oral comments.

ADDRESSES: Comments regarding the EA should be mailed to FAA Cecil Field EA, c/o ICF International, 9300 Lee Highway, Fairfax, VA, 22031. Comments can also be sent by e-mail toCecilField@icfi.comor fax to (703) 934-3951.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Stacey M. Zee (AST-100), Office of Commercial Space Transportation, 800 Independence Avenue, SW., Room 331, Washington, DC 20591, telephone (202) 267-9305; E-mailstacey.zee@faa.gov.
Issued in Washington, DC on: April 15, 2009. Michael McElligott, Manager, Space Systems Development Division.