• Public Meeting on Hoku Ke‘a Telescope Decommissioning

    September 17, 2021
    UH News Release link: http://www.hawaii.edu/news/article.php?aId=11550

    Public meeting on Hōkū Keʻa telescope decommissioning 
    Contact: Dan Meisenzahl , (808) 348-4936 Spokesperson, UH Communications
    Link to video (details below): https://bit.ly/2Xt5vzf
    The University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo will host a virtual public meeting on the Draft Environmental Assessment (DEA) for the decommissioning of the Hōkū Keʻa telescope on Maunakea on Wednesday, September 22, 5:30–7 p.m.

    The Hōkū Keʻa decommissioning DEA notice for accepting public comments (PDF) was posted on September 9. To register for the virtual public meeting and/or to learn more about the process, visit the Hōkū Ke‘a Decommissioning Project web page at https://hokukea.konveio.com.

    The meeting will include a presentation and question and answer session with UH Hilo Center for Maunakea Stewardship Executive Director Greg Chun and officials with SSFM, the consulting company hired for the project planning and design. Those who participate are asked to provide comments by October 8, 2021. The Environmental Notice provides links to submit comments and to view the official document.

    A DEA is required under Hawaiʻi’s environmental laws for proposed uses of state lands or funds and uses within the state conservation district. The Hōkū Keʻa decommissioning plan reviewed in the DEA includes the safe and proper removal of two buildings and supporting infrastructure, and restoration of the site to its original state, as much as possible.

    After the DEA process is complete, the Department of Land and Natural Resources will process and issue a conservation district use permit for the proposed actions. The project is tentatively scheduled to be completed by late 2023, and the site will not be used for astronomy purposes again.

    Hōkū Keʻa is one of two Maunakea telescopes in the process of being decommissioned. The Caltech Submillimeter Observatory (CSO) posted its Draft Environmental Assessment for decommissioning on September 8. The CSO decommissioning project is tentatively scheduled to be completed in late 2023. There are 13 observatories on Maunakea, including Hōkū Keʻa and CSO. UH has committed to no more than nine operating astronomy facilities on Maunakea summit by December 31, 2033.

     Public input requested on Hōkū Keʻa telescope decommissioning process

    VIDEO BROLL: (1:25)
    1 shot: Maunakea 
    5 shots: Hōkū Keʻa telescope and surrounding area
    Greg Chun, Center for Maunakea Stewardship Executive Director 
    This is an important very significant step in the university's commitment to reducing our physical footprint in the summit area.

    We ask people to please join us at our virtual open house where you can learn more about the decommissioning process as well as learn the various ways that you are able to provide your public comment. 
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