Tuesday, June 02, 2020
Hawai'i Free Press

Current Articles | Archives

Friday, February 21, 2020
Decommissioning of 2 Maunakea Telescopes Pushed Back to 2023
By News Release @ 2:15 AM :: 1254 Views :: Hawaii County , Greenmail, Higher Education, OHA

Decommissioning of 2 Maunakea telescopes expected to be complete by 2023

From UH News, Feb 20, 2020

The decommissioning of two telescopes on University of Hawaiʻi-managed lands on Maunakea is tentatively scheduled to be completed by 2023. This is according to an update provided by the university to the UH Board of Regents (BOR) at the board’s February 20 meeting at UH West Oʻahu. The California Institute of Technology (Caltech) Submillimeter Observatory and the UH Hilo Hōkū Ke‘a teaching telescope are both making progress in the extensive decommissioning process, according to UH Executive Director of Maunakea Stewardship Greg Chun, who provided the update to the regents.

The BOR adopted a resolution in November 2019 directing UH leadership to strengthen its stewardship of Maunakea and report back regularly on the progress of 11 action items. The first action item in the resolution is the decommissioning of Caltech Submillimeter Observatory (CSO) and Hōkū Ke‘a.

Telescope decommissioning process

The 2010 Decommissioning Plan for the Maunakea Observatories, a sub-plan of the Maunakea Comprehensive Management Plan, describes the four-step decommissioning process for the removal of an observatory followed by a site restoration to its original state, to the greatest extent possible.

UH’s Office of Maunakea Management (OMKM) is responsible for coordinating the overall process and coordinating with the State of Hawaiʻi and the Department of Land and Natural Resources. The respective observatory is responsible for preparing the Site Decommissioning Plan along with compliance and permit documents and implementing decommissioning.

CSO decommissioning update

CSO is the first telescope/observatory to undertake the decommissioning process after it announced it would cease operations. The deconstruction and site restoration work is tentatively scheduled to begin in 2021 and be completed by mid-to-late 2022. The financial responsibility of the removal and site restoration rests fully with Caltech. The decommissioning will include the removal of the dome, outbuildings and related infrastructure along with the restoration of the site. The astronomical instruments inside the observatory have already been removed.

CSO is now finalizing the draft Environmental Assessment (EA) after completing the required technical surveys, including an Environmental Site Assessment and a Hazardous Materials Assessment. Caltech commissioned a number of studies for the process including an archeological assessment, a cultural setting analysis, a hydrogeological evaluation, a biological inventory, a biological setting analysis, a traffic analysis and an asbestos/lead paint/mold survey.

Along with completing the draft EA, which describes the site as well as the potential impacts of the decommissioning process, CSO is also in the process of completing the historic preservation review, Draft Mitigation/Monitoring Plan and Decommissioning Funding Plan.

As part of the process laid out in the 2010 Decommissioning Plan for the Maunakea Observatories, CSO is also required to complete a Site Deconstruction & Removal Plan and a Site Restoration Plan, all of which are subject to approval by OMKM and the appropriate agencies (along with the necessary permits) before deconstruction can begin.

Hōkū Ke‘a decommissioning update

The deconstruction and site restoration of Hōkū Ke‘a is tentatively scheduled to begin in early 2023 and take about six months. The project will follow the detailed process in the Decommissioning Plan for the Maunakea Observatories.

On February 18, 2020, the Maunakea Management Board approved UH Hilo’s Notice of Intent to decommission the Hōkū Kea telescope on the condition that the university simultaneously proceed with the planning and permitting for a new teaching telescope for UH Hilo students and the Hawaiʻi Island community. The process includes identifying a new location, possibly the Hale Pōhaku mid-level facilities on Maunakea. The university is financially responsible for the decommissioning of Hōkū Ke‘a and establishing the new UH Hilo teaching telescope.

The university selected a construction project management firm in February 2020 to handle the planning and permitting for the telescope decommissioning that includes preparing the Environmental Assessment, hazardous material assessments, State Historic Preservation Division clearances, Conservation District use application, design/bid construction package and the archeological plan along with the community consultation, the Kahu Kū Mauna (Native Hawaiian volunteer community-based advisory council) review and acquiring the necessary permits. 

The university is in the process of awarding a contract to identify a new location and begin the planning process for the UH Hilo teaching telescope, which would be considerably smaller than the current telescopes on Maunakea.

---30---

SA: Mauna Kea decommissioning plan pushed back

HTH: Date for removal of two Maunakea telescopes pushed back  

Both decommissioning timelines run behind those proscribed by a resolution passed by the Board of Regents in November of last year, which set a commitment to finish decommissioning the first two telescopes by the end of 2021.

“That’s why they made that update to the board today,” said Brent Suyama, associate director of UH’s communications office.... 

A timeline that was presented during Thursday’s Board of Regents meeting estimates that the final environmental assessments for the Submillimeter Observatory will be completed this year, while a similar assessment for Hoku Ke‘a will not be completed until next year. No schedule for Hoku Ke‘a’s reinstatement was provided.

Whenever the teaching telescope is re-established, it likely will do so under a different name, Simons said.

Links

TEXT "follow HawaiiFreePress" to 40404

Register to Vote

2aHawaii

808 Silent Majority

808 State Update AM940

ABCDEFG Blog

ACA Signups Hawaii

ACCE

ALEC

Alliance Defending Freedom

Aloha Life Advocates

Aloha Pregnancy Care Center

American Council of Trustees and Alumni

American Mothers of Hawaii

AMVETS-Hawaii

AntiPlanner

Antonio Gramsci Reading List

A Place for Women in Waipio

Astronomy Hawaii

Audit The Rail

Ballotpedia Hawaii

Better Hawaii 

Blaisdell Memorial Project

Broken Trust 

Build More Hawaiian Homes Working Group

CAFR Hawaii

Castaway Conservative

Children's Alliance Hawaii

Children's Rights Institute

ChinaTownWatch.com

Christian Homeschoolers of Hawaii

Citizens for Recall

Cliff Slater's Second Opinion

Coffee Break

CSIS Pacific Forum

DAR Hawaii

DeedySupport.com

DVids Hawaii

E Hana Kakou Kelii Akina

E Māua Ola i Moku o Keawe

Farmers For Choice Hawaii

FIRE

Fix Oahu!

Follow the Money Hawaii

Frank in Hawaii

Front Page Magazine

Frontline: The Fixers

Genetic Literacy Project

Get Off Your Butts!

God, Freedom, America

Grassroot Institute

Habele.org

Hawaii Aganst Assisted Suicide

Hawaii Aquarium Fish Report

Hawaii Aviation Preservation Society

Hawaii Catholic TV

Hawaii Christian Coalition

Hawaii Cigar Association

Hawaii Coalition Against Legalized Gambling

Hawaii ConCon Info

Hawaii Credit Union Watch

Hawaii Crime Victims' Rights

Hawaii Crop Improvement Association

Hawaii Debt Clock

Hawaii Defending Marriage

Hawaii Defense Foundation

Hawaii Families for Educational Choice

Hawaii Family Advocates

Hawaii Family Forum

Hawaii Farmers and Ranchers United

Hawaii Farmer's Daughter

Hawaii Federalist Society

Hawaii Federation of Republican Women

Hawaii Firearm Community

Hawaii Fishermen's Alliance

Hawaii Future Project

Hawaii Gathering of Eagles

Hawaii History Blog

Hawaii Homeschool Association

Hawaii Jihadi Trial

Hawaii March for Life

Hawaii Meth Project

Hawaii's Partnership for Appropriate & Compassionate Care

Hawaii Public Charter School Network

Hawaii Rifle Association

Hawaii Right to Life -- Big Island

Hawaii Right to Life -- Oahu

Hawaii Shield Law Coalition

Hawaii Shippers Council

Hawaii Smokers Alliance

Hawaii State Data Lab

Hawaii Together

Heritage Foundation

HI Coalition Against Legalized Gambling

HIEC.Coop 

HiFiCo

Hiram Fong Papers

Homeschool Legal Defense Hawaii

Honolulu Homeless Crisis

Honolulu Navy League

Honolulu Traffic

Horns of Jericho Blog

House Minority Blog

House Republican Caucus YouTube

HPACC

Hump Day Report

I Vote Hawaii

If Hawaii News

Imua TMT

Inouye-Kwock, NYT 1992

Inside the Nature Conservancy

Inverse Condemnation

Investigative Project on Terrorism

Iowa Meets Maui

Jackson v Abercrombie

Jihad Watch

July 4 in Hawaii

Kahle v New Hope

Kakaako Cares

Kau TEA Party

Kauai Co GOP

Keep Hawaii's Heroes

KeyWiki

Land and Power in Hawaii

Legislative Committee Analysis Tool

Lessons in Firearm Education

Lingle Years

Malulani Foundation

Managed Care Matters -- Hawaii

Malama Pregnancy Center of Maui

Mauna Kea Recreational Users Group

MentalIllnessPolicy.org

Middle East Forum--The Legal Project

Mililani Conservatives for Change

Military Home Educators' Network Oahu

Missile Defense Advocacy

MIS Veterans Hawaii

Muslim Brotherhood in America

NAMI Hawaii

NARTH

Natatorium.org

National Christian Foundation Hawaii

National Parents Org Hawaii

National Wind Watch

New Zeal

NFIB Hawaii News

No GMO Means No Aloha

Northwest Economic Policy Seminar

Not Dead Yet, Hawaii

Now What I Really Think

NRA-ILA Hawaii

Oahu Alternative Transport

ObamaCare Abortion Hawaii

Obookiah

OHA Lies

Opt Out Today

OurFutureHawaii.com

Pacific Aviation Museum

Patients Rights Council Hawaii

PEACE Hawaii

People vs Machine

Pritchett Cartoons 

Pro-GMO Hawaii

P.U.E.O.

RailRipoff.com

Rental by Owner Awareness Assn

Republican Party -- Hawaii State

Research Institute for Hawaii USA

Rick Hamada Show

RJ Rummel

Robotics Organizing Committee

Save Dillingham Airfield

School Choice in Hawaii

SenatorFong.com

SIFE Remington

SIFE W. Oahu 

Sink the Jones Act

Smart About Marijuana--Hawaii

St Marianne Cope

State Budget Solutions Hawaii

State Policy Network

Statehood for Guam

Tax Foundation of Hawaii

The Harriet Tubman Agenda

The Long War Journal

The Real Hanabusa

Time Out Honolulu

Trustee Akina KWO Columns

Truth About Trade & Technology - Hawaii

UCC Truths

Union Members Know Your Rights

US Tax Foundation Hawaii Info

Valor in the Pacific

VAREP Honolulu

Waagey.org

West Maui Taxpayers Association

What Natalie Thinks

Whole Life Hawaii

Yes2TMT