Hoku Kea telescope
Hōkū Keʻa

A virtual public meeting on the Draft Environmental Assessment (DEA) for the decommissioning of the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo Hōkū Keʻa telescope on Maunakea was held on September 22. The public is asked to review and provide comments on the Hōkū Keʻa DEA by October 8, 2021.

A presentation led by officials with SSFM, the consulting company hired for the project planning and design, highlighted the Hōkū Keʻa decommissioning plan in the DEA that includes the removal of two buildings and supporting infrastructure, and restoration of the site to its original state, as much as possible.

More than 30 people attended the meeting and there were about two-dozen comments submitted which ranged from inquiries regarding where decommissioned items would be disposed of, to decommissioning costs, and plans about the proposed 28-inch educational telescope at Halepōhaku, the mid-level facility on Maunakea, which is a separate project.

A recording of the virtual meeting will be posted on the Hōkū Keʻa decommissioning website on Friday, September 24.

Hōkū Keʻa is one of two Maunakea telescopes in the process of being decommissioned. The Caltech Submillimeter Observatory posted its Draft Environmental Assessment for decommissioning on September 8. Both decommissioning projects are tentatively scheduled to be completed by late 2023.