Maunakea Stewardship


CSO under decommissioning The University of Hawaiʻi is committed to the removal of five telescopes on UH-managed lands on Maunakea, followed by restoration of each site to its original state, to the greatest extent possible. Decommissioning of the first two telescopes is tentatively scheduled to be completed by 2023.

The 2010 Decommissioning Plan for the Maunakea Observatories (pdf), a sub-plan of the Maunakea Comprehensive Management Plan (pdf), describes a 4-step decommissioning process for observatories to follow when preparing a Site Decommissioning Plan (SDP) for removal of an observatory followed by site restoration.

  1. Notice of Intent (NOI)
  2. Environmental Due Diligence, including:
    • Hazardous Material Assessment
    • Phase 1 Environmental Site Assessment
    • Phase 2 Environmental Site Assessment – if needed
    • Remedial Action Plan – if needed
  3. Site Deconstruction & Removal Plan
  4. Site Restoration Plan

The Center for Maunakea Stewardship (CMS) coordinates the overall process as well as communicate with the State of Hawaiʻi and Department of Land & Natural Resources (DLNR). The respective observatory is responsible for preparing the Site Decommissioning Plan (SDP), completing compliance and permit documents, and implementing decommissioning.

All components of each SDP shall be approved by Maunakea Management Board followed by approval by the UH President. The Department of Land & Natural Resources - Office of Conservation & Coastal Lands reserves the right to request modification of the SDP and require a Conservation District Use Permit (CDUP).

UH-Approved Decommissioning Documents

Caltech Submillimeter Observatory (CSO)

  1. Notice of Intent (pdf), and Addendum with updated Site Plan (pdf)
  2. Environmental Due Diligence
  3. Final Environmental Assessment (FEA) (pdf)
  4. Site Decommissioning Plan - See Appendix A of the CSO FEA
  5. Archaeological (and Cultural Monitoring Plan - see Appendix J of the CSO FEA
  6. Site Restoration Effectiveness Monitoring Plan – see Appendix H of the CSO FEA
  7. CDUP (2022)
  8. State of Hawaiʻi Environmental Review Program | EA and EIS (New Rules) (Search under Caltech)

Visit the CSO website for periodic updates on the current draft of these documents and related compliance materials.

UH Hilo Hoku Kea (Hoku Kea)

  1. Notice of Intent (pdf)
    For additional information see also the Final Environmental Assessment: University of Hawai‘i 24-inch (0.6 meter ) Telescope Observatory Renovation (pdf)
  2. Environmental Due Diligence
    • Hazardous Material Assessment - in preparation
    • Phase I Environmental Site Assessment - in preparation
    • Phase II Environmental Site Assessment - to be determined if necessary
  3. Site Deconstruction & Removal Plan - in preparation
  4. Site Restoration Plan - in preparation

The State of Hawaiʻi, Department of Land & Natural Resources - Office of Conservation & Coastal Lands also provides access to astronomy-related documents, including decommissioning.