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  • Writer's pictureHawai'i House Democrats

Speaker Saiki Announces National Science Foundation's Outreach for Thirty Meter Telescope

Honolulu, Hawaiʻi – House Speaker Scott Saiki announced that the National Science Foundation (NSF) has initiated an informal outreach process to engage stakeholders interested in the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) project. After listening to and considering the stakeholders' viewpoints, NSF will decide whether to initiate a formal federal environmental review process for TMT. All stakeholders are encouraged to participate by contacting NSF at:

Speaker Saiki stated: "TMT is a consequential project for Hawaiʻi. It is critical that all persons and organizations that have a position on TMT contact NSF so that their opinions can be heard." 

NSF's announcement is as follows and may also be found at

NSF statement on U.S. Extremely Large Telescope program proposals August 13, 2020

Due to Privacy Act restrictions, NSF typically cannot identify the organizations or associated details of funding proposals it receives.  However, three organizations publicly disclosed their submission of proposals to NSF for planning and design of a U.S. Extremely Large Telescope program.  NSF can, therefore, confirm receipt of proposals from the organizations developing the Giant Magellan Telescope (GMT), the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT), and NSF’s NOIRLab (a federally funded research and development center). 

NSF understands that potential construction of TMT on Maunakea is a sensitive issue and plans to engage in early and informal outreach efforts with stakeholders, including Native Hawaiians, to listen to and seek an understanding of their viewpoints. If NSF ultimately initiates a formal federal environmental review process, this advance outreach would serve as a precursor to it.

NSF’s receipt of a proposal and its initiation of an informal outreach effort are not reflective of NSF’s position regarding any project. To request a discussion with NSF related to Maunakea and potential NSF inv


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