TMT official says project will not affect water supply, cultural practices 'won't be impacted'
As Tension over the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) continues, many are wondering if the project will be a hazard to water on Mauna Kea.
Good Morning Hawaii asked Gordon Squires, a TMT executive from California, to respond to circulating criticism which claimed TMT could be a threat to underground aquifers.
"There is no way TMT can impact Hawaii's water supply in any way, that has been validated through all of the processes that we've gone through. TMT is absolutely not nuclear powered, TMT gets its power through Hawaii Island grid -- just like every body else," said Squires.
The message from Kia'i -- or protectors of Mauna Kea -- is that they oppose the desecration of what they see as sacred land.
Squires also said the location of TMT's construction was taken into consideration.
"As you go closer to the summit, that becomes a much more sacred and a sensitive area. TMT is well away from that, in an area that historically has no cultural practices or archaeological finds," he said. "Once TMT is constructed, the whole mountain -- including coming right up to and even going into the TMT building -- is available for everyone, and so cultural practices in that sense won't be impacted."