Request for Qualifications RFQ131001 For Environmental Impact Statement And Conservation District Use Application For The Pan-STARRS Project

This Request for Qualifications (RFQ) RFQ131001 is being issued by the Research Corporation of the University of Hawaii (RCUH) on the behalf of the Panoramic Survey Telescope and Rapid Response System (Pan-STARRS) Project office of the University of Hawaii's Institute for Astronomy (IfA). IfA is seeking qualifications from professional environmental planning firms to assist the University of Hawaii in preparing both an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) and State of Hawaii Conservation District Use Application (CDUA) for the proposed installation of the Pan-STARRS Project. The IfA has the responsibility to prepare an EIS, in accordance with the requirements of National Environmental Policy Act [42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.], and a CDUA in accordance with the requirements of the Hawaii Administrative Rules (HAR) 13-5. The Consultant will work directly for the IfA.


Pan-STARRS is a new survey telescope system being developed by the IfA. Taking advantage of rapid recent advances in electronic detector technology, it will repeatedly scan the entire sky, and will be able to detect very faint objects. Its unique time resolution capability will open up new opportunities for the study of transient, variable and moving objects. A major goal of the project is to detect and catalog most of the 'killer asteroids' that present a threat to the Earth. Pan-STARRS will also tackle a wide range of other scientific objectives ranging from the solar system to the properties of the Universe on the largest scales.

Pan-STARRS will be an array of four robotically operated telescopes, each with a diameter of 1.8 meters. The telescopes will have an extremely large field of view, making them more powerful for survey work than all currently existing telescopes combined. The proposed project would be located within the Mauna Kea Science Reserve on the island of Hawaii or within the Haleakala High Altitude Observatory Site on the island of Maui.


The purposes of this procurement are to select a Consultant to assist the IfA in preparing an EIS that complies with all applicable environmental laws and regulations, to assess and disclose the potential impacts of implementing Pan-STARRS in either location. It is the intent of the IfA to hire a technically proficient Consultant who will be able to assist the IfA in preparing the EIS and CDUA, and assist the IfA with required agency and community consultations, in an efficient and cost effective manner while maintaining a high-degree of credibility and validity in the study products. Familiarity with, and an appreciation for the sensitivity for the home rule expectations of the local community and the indigenous people will be considered a plus.


The EIS process including publication of the Final EIS and ROD is expected to take not more than 18 months.


In response to this request, interested firms shall submit written qualification statements. Qualification statement submittals must contain the following information:

(A) Project Approach:

The Project Approach section shall demonstrate an understanding of the environmental and host culture issues related to proposing projects for Hawaii's high-altitude observatory sites along with a thorough understanding of the federal environmental disclosure process. Identify methodologies and approaches to be utilized to analyze and resolve environmental issues, conduct public scoping and public hearings, issue work products, perform to an EIS & CDUA schedule, and assign responsibilities of each of the proposed staff/team members and sub-consultants, as well as a proposed process for coordinating with the IfA and other consultants' work efforts.

(B) Project Team Structure and Interaction:

Describe the project management organization and proposed approach to maintain the EIS quality and schedule. Include the availability and expertise of an experienced Project Manager that would be assigned to and committed to the project as a first priority, and the Project Manager's ability to manage sub-consultants and other consultants. Indicate the process that will be implemented to maintain awareness and interaction of the project team to include sub-consultants. The Consultant will be required to keep IfA informed of progress through monthly status reports to the IfA and though quarterly program management reviews.

(C) Company Background and Experience

  1. Provide a brief company history, a description of the company's expertise and the number of years the company has been in business.
  2. Describe the company's financial background and be able to provide annual financial reports for the last THREE (3) years if requested.
  3. Describe the company's experience with specific EIS projects similar to the RCUH's requirement and provide a description of each project.
  4. Provide at least THREE (3) references that can attest to your company's performance / qualifications. The RCUH reserves the right to contact the references for additional information.

Interested professional environmental planning firms should submit a letter expressing interest and qualification statements as note above via email to the address below, fax to (808) 988-8972, or mail to:

Mike Maberry
Manoa Innovation Center, Suite 290
2800 Woodlawn Dr.
Honolulu, HI  96822

by Friday, December 10, 2004, 4:00pm.

Those judged qualified by the Pan-STARRS office will be notified by Wednesday, December 15, 2004. Questions about this solicitation can be answered by calling (808) 876-7600 X-107 or by email to: