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Plans progress to remove 1st of 5 Maunakea telescopes in exchange for Thirty Meter Telescope

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Caltech Submillimeter Observatory

Plans to remove the first of five telescopes on Maunakea have been well received, according to those overseeing the decommissioning process.

The Caltech Submillimeter Observatory is set to be torn down and the site restored as soon as next summer.

After nearly three months of community meetings and public outreach, those overseeing the decommissioning of the CSO say much of the public feedback on the environmental impact of removing the telescope has been positive.

The environmental review on the removal found no significant environmental or cultural impact on the site.

Some in the community raised concerns over the handling of the removal of CSO’s cesspool. Others worried about the residual impact related to the 2009 hydraulic fluid leak.

CSO is the first of five Maunakea telescopes set to be decommissioned in exchange for the controversial Thirty Meter Telescope or TMT.

Kuʻuwehi Hiraishi is a general assignment reporter at Hawaiʻi Public Radio. Her commitment to her Native Hawaiian community and her fluency in ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi has led her to build a de facto ʻōiwi beat at the news station. Send your story ideas to her at
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