TMT Supporting the Environment

//TMT Supporting the Environment

We are committed to a new model of sustainable astronomy and one that respects the unique environment of Maunakea. With a new design that leaves zero waste on the mountain and a strategic approach to minimize any potential environmental impact, TMT will be the most environmentally sensitive telescope ever built on Maunakea. Visible from just 14% of the island, the TMT site was selected because it poses no risk to rare or endangered plants, insects or animals. And in a first for any telescope on the mountain, TMT is paying a $1 million per year in lease rent, $800,000 of which goes directly to the support and stewardship of Maunakea.

“The TMT will not pollute groundwater, will not damage any historic sites, will not harm rare plants or animals, will not release toxic materials, and will not otherwise harm the environment. It will not significantly change the appearance of the summit of Mauna Kea from populated areas on Hawai‘i Island.”

– Board of Land & Natural Resources, 2017 Decision & Order, page ii

Measures are being put into place, in accordance with the Final Environmental Impact Statement, to ensure efforts to minimize any potential negative aspects of the project. These measures are not just in place to protect the environment, or the land or the wildlife. They are also in place to preserve the history of Maunakea and protect the cultural practices and resources of the area.

Environmental Considerations

TMT will follow a Comprehensive Management Plan to protect and conserve Maunakea’s cultural and natural resources.

Aquifer

Although groundwater is the primary source of drinking water in Hawaii, there are no wells extracting groundwater near the summit of Maunakea.

Environmental Impact Statement

An extensive environmental impact statement was prepared that involved a large number of careful studies of environmental and cultural sensitivities specifically for the TMT project.

GARY SANDERS DISCUSSING WHAT TMT DID TO MITIGATE ENVIRONMENTAL DAMAGE

FORMER HEAD OF OFFICE OF MAUNAKEA MANAGEMENT DISCUSSES ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES

RECAP OF THE HYDROLOGIST’S TESTIMONY