Organizations File Complaint to FAA to Demand  Spanish Language Access of SpaceX Hearings

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Thursday, October 14, 2021

Contact: Matthew Johnson, matt.johnson@sierraclub.org, 512-888-9398 or

Rebekah Hinojosa, anothergulfispossible@gmail.com

Organizations File Complaint to Federal Aviation Administration to Demand Spanish Language Access to SpaceX Public Hearings 

BROWNSVILLE, TX — Organizations sent a Title VI Civil Rights Act Complaint calling for Spanish language access to SpaceX’s permit request. The organizations included the Lone Star Chapter Sierra Club, Voces Unidas, Las Imaginistas, La Unión del Pueblo Entero, Carrizo/Comecrudo Tribe of Texas, and Another Gulf Is Possible Collaborative based in Texas’ Rio Grande Valley region that is directly impacted by SpaceX operations at Boca Chica Beach. 

The complaint was sent to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the Department of Transportation (US DOT) Office of Civil Rights, and US Rep Filemon Vela for failing to provide a language-inclusive regulatory process that includes a multi-language interpreters and Spanish translation of notices and documents, at the public hearings for SpaceX on October 18 and 20. The FAA will face backlash for failing to meet multi-language access requests from already marginalized Rio Grande Valley communities where about 80% of 1.4 million people speak Spanish. 

“Rio Grande Valley residents need equal access to the SpaceX permitting process that is facilitated by the FAA so they may speak up for the safety, health, and environmental integrity of their community,” said Michelle Serrano, from Brownsville, TX with the network Voces Unidas. “We demand that the FAA restart this entire permit process to include Spanish speakers.” 

For years, SpaceX has harmed wildlife and the public’s safety by blowing up rocket debris into neighborhoods and wildlife refuges. Even more egregious, SpaceX has never consulted with the original Native people, the Carrizo Comecrudo Tribe of Texas, who have ancestral ties to the region about their operations. 

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