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Thirty Meter Telescope closer to building legally on Mauna Kea - Honolulu, Hawaii news, sports & weather - KITV Channel 4

Thirty Meter Telescope closer to building legally on Mauna Kea

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Courtesy: TMT International Observatory Courtesy: TMT International Observatory

The Thirty Meter Telescope project is one step closer to being legally allowed to build on Mauna Kea. 

The Hawaii Supreme Court ruled Wednesday to uphold the State Board of Land and Natural Resources sublease between the University of Hawaii and the TMT International Observatory. 

The BLNR's 2014 decision to allow UH to sublease to TMT had been appealed by Hawaii Island resident Kalani Flores, who believed there should've been a contested case hearing over the sublease issue itself.

The Hawaii Supreme Court concluded that Flores was not entitled to a contested case hearing because such a hearing is not required by statute, administrative rule or due process.

The TMT International Observatory is still awaiting another Hawaii Supreme Court decision regarding the BLNR's 2017 decision to grant TMT a "conservation district use permit." Arguments about the permit were last heard in front of the Hawaii Supreme Court on June 21, 2018. There is no time frame of when the Supreme Court will issue its decision.

"This issue has been up for debate between both sides and we've tried to be respectful we'll see what happens with the second appeal... TMT follows the process to the rulings have gradually come back in our favor but we know it's not over," Scott Ishikawa, TMT spokesman said. 

Given the sheer size of TMT's proposed telescope, this rendering shows the observatory's plan to place it on the side of the mountain instead of the summit. 

TMT says that way it'll only be visible from 15 percent of Hawaii Island. 

Statement from the University of Hawaii reads:

"It is a significant step forward in what has been a very long and important process... UH stands fully committed to collaborative stewardship that demonstrates Mauna Kea as an inspiring and harmonious global model for culture, the environment and groundbreaking scientific discovery". 

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