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Maui Council to consider resolution opposing construction of telescope facility on Haleakalā

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AMOS STAR Facility proposed build-out near the MSSC on Haleakalā. PC: courtesy EISPN

Council Member Keani Rawlins-Fernandez announced today that the Maui County Council will consider Resolution 24-103 opposing construction of the proposed Air Force Maui Optical and Supercomputing Site Small Telescope Advanced Research facility, also known as AMOS STAR, on Wednesday at 3 p.m.

According to the Department of the Air Force, the AMOS STAR facility proposes the construction of up to seven more telescopes, adding to the six academic and four space-surveillance telescopes that are already situated on Haleakalā. The summit of Haleakalā is designated a state conservation district, where its classification recognizes the area as a fragile ecosystem with unique cultural, archeological and natural resources, and is the habitat to 11 threatened or endangered species, Rawlins-Fernandez said.

“As leaders in the community, we are expected to model respect for Haleakalā’s cultural, environmental and spiritual significance, particularly after years of harm inflicted on our sacred spaces and lāhui kanaka ‘ōiwi,” said Rawlins-Fernandez, who chairs the Efficiency Solutions and Circular Systems Committee. “Without any indication that there would ever be an end to the development at the summit, opposing this construction clearly signals our position to properly mālama what is important to us.”


In January last year, the US Space Force spilled 700 gallons of diesel fuel spilled at the Maui Space Surveillance Complex on Haleakalā. The severity and impact of the contamination is still unknown more than a year later, as the clean-up and remediation efforts are still not complete, Rawlins-Fernandez said.

Today at 1:30 p.m., the Efficiency Solutions and Circular Systems Committee will receive an update on the contamination from a representative from Space Force and the cultural advisor retained by the military to monitor their clean-up efforts. The committee will also receive a presentation on the AMOS STAR.

Rawlins-Fernandez said she encourages community members to testify at Wednesday’s meeting, either in person, online or via telephone. Testimony instructions are on the meeting agendas.


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