Camden County Sues to Force Sale of Land for Georgia Spaceport

Spaceport Camden launch complex (Credit: Camden County)

Camden County commissioners are taking Union Carbide to court in an effort to force the company to sell land for a planned spaceport in Georgia. The Associated Press reports:

Commissioners in coastal Camden County said in a statement Thursday that Union Carbide Co.’s refusal to sell the 4,000 acre (1,600 hectare) property, if allowed to stand, “will cause the County the loss of the Spaceport Project as well as an enormous financial loss in excess of $11 million.”

County officials have spent that sum over the past decade seeking to license and build Spaceport Camden, a site for launching satellites into space. Opponents say the project would pose safety and environmental risks that outweigh any economic benefits. The county held a referendum in March in which a large majority voted to kill the land deal.

Commissioners opted to disregard the vote, which they contend violated Georgia’s constitution. But Union Carbide balked at the county’s efforts to move forward with closing on the property. The company said last week that the deal was off because it had been “repudiated” by voters.

The county filed a civil suit Wednesday in Camden County Superior Court in hopes of keeping the spaceport project alive. Commissioners said the company still has a “contractual obligation to sell the property.”

Spaceport Camden would host small-satellite launches.