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Friday, July 15, 2022
We are one step closer to TMT!
By Samuel Wilder King II @ 9:57 PM :: 1576 Views :: Hawaii County , Greenmail, Higher Education, OHA

We are one step closer to TMT!

News Release from Sam King for OHA Trustee, July 15, 2022

The National Science Foundation circulated an email over past few days to all participants in its informal outreach sessions concerning TMT and Mauna Kea.  They announced that they will be starting the environmental review process for TMT on Mauna Kea on Tuesday next week!

This Federal EIS process will include public meetings and opportunities to comment.  Please be ready to submit testimony soon! 

You can see NSF email below:

Dear Informal Outreach Effort Participants, 

Thank you for sharing your views during NSF’s Informal Outreach Effort.  The information we learned during our “talk story” sessions and from the written submissions we received was incredibly valuable; it helped us to learn more about and understand the various perspectives on the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) and astronomy on Maunakea.  We are now following-up with those who participated in NSF’s Informal Outreach Effort regarding the status of TMT.  Although this is not an indicator of any decision reached by NSF on the future funding of any project, NSF has decided to move forward with a formal environmental review for a potential NSF investment in the construction and operations of an Extremely Large Telescope (ELT) in the Northern Hemisphere.  Since TMT is the only proposed ELT in the Northern Hemisphere, NSF’s environmental review will focus only on TMT.  We anticipate that this will be a multi-year process with numerous opportunities for meaningful public engagement. 

Because of your interest in this issue, we wanted to provide you with advance notice of the initiation of NSF’s formal environmental review.  The first step in the process will be the publication of NSF’s Notice of Intent to Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement and to Initiate Compliance with Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act in the Federal Register, which is anticipated to take place on July 19, 2022.  At approximately 9:00 a.m. (EDT) on the morning of July 19th, our website for this environmental review (https://beta.nsf.gov/tmt), which will include links to all relevant documents and information on how to participate in the process, will go live.  You may also wish to note that we will be holding public meetings on the scope of our environmental review on the Island of Hawai’i from August 9-12, 2022; the accompanying public comment period will open on July 19, 2022, and close on September 17, 2022.   

Please know that the information we learned during our Informal Outreach Effort also informed the way in which we will be conducting our environmental review of TMT.  Specifically, we determined that, based on what we heard, we need to go beyond the legal requirements for public participation and provide additional opportunities for meaningful and effective public engagement.  These additional opportunities are described in the Draft Community Engagement Plan (Draft CEP) that we developed based on what we heard during our Informal Outreach Effort.  The Draft CEP will also be available on our website for this environmental review on July 19th.  We are requesting public comments on our Draft CEP between July 19, 2022, and September 17, 2022, which can be provided in the same manner as comments on the scope of our environmental review (please see our environmental review website at https://beta.nsf.gov/tmt for more information).  Commenting on the Draft CEP, itself, will be the first way that interested members of the public can exercise their important role in our process.  Another opportunity for public engagement described in the Draft CEP is a 2-3 day interactive and NSF-facilitated workshop designed to develop a plan to define and practice responsible astronomy in Hawaii.  In addition, the public will be invited to comment on draft study plans that outline the scope and methodology to be used in any studies that may be conducted as part of this environmental review.  The Draft CEP also includes communication and outreach tools to ensure that the public is kept aware of the status of NSF’s environmental review and upcoming opportunities to participate in the process.   

Thank you, again, for sharing your perspectives with us during NSF’s Informal Outreach Effort.  We hope you will continue to share your thoughts with us by participating in NSF’s formal environmental review when it begins on July 19th, and we hope that we will be able to meet in person at one of our upcoming public meetings. 

Ultimately, to keep astronomy alive in Hawaii, I need your help to get elected to OHA to provide a public voice for Native Hawaiian supporters of TMT on the OHA Board! Please donate today!

Donate For Hawaii's Future

Mahalo Nui Loa,
Sam Kalanikupua King

Please visit my website to find out more: www.VoteSamKing.com

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