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Local Group Threatens Lawsuit Over Toxic Water Discharges During Boca Chica Rocket Launches

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File photo: SpaceX's Starship launches from Starbase in Boca Chica, Texas, Thursday, April 20, 2023. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

Story by TIM SULLIVAN

A potential new lawsuit is threatening to delay future SpaceX rocket launches from Boca Chica Beach. The local environmental group Save RGV has sent SpaceX a notice of intent to sue over deliberate and ongoing violations of the federal Clean Water Act.

The group claims the launchpad fire-suppressant system that’s activated during each launch discharges industrial wastewater containing toxic metals into the surrounding wetlands. In addition, the group says SpaceX has failed to apply for a permit for the discharges. It also accuses the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality of failing to enforce its own standards.

SpaceX installed the fire-suppression system after the first launch of a Starship prototype April 20th of last year, during which the launchpad was blown apart.

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