Hawaii Supreme Court invalidates ‘Mauna Kea’ TMT permit
The controversial ‘Mauna Kea’ massive telescope project hit another stumbling block as the Supreme Court of Hawaii has invalidated the building permit for the hotly contested project.
The Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT), a $1.4 billion observatory, is planned to be constructed on the peak of Mauna Kea, Hawaii’s tallest mountain and a cultural icon for the local people. Native Hawaiians have been opposing the project since the every beginning of its announcement because they consider the mountain sacred.
Construction of the telescope has already started, but state’s highest court recently decided in favor of opponents, saying authorities issued the permit before the case was resolved.
In its 58-page opinion, the court said, “Accordingly, the permit cannot stand. Quite simply, the board put the cart before the horse when it issued the permit before the request for a contested case hearing was resolved and the hearing was held. Accordingly, the permit cannot stand.”
Kealoha Pisciotta, one of the many plaintiffs who challenged the permit, said after the pronouncement of the court’s decision that he was very grateful to the heavens and the court for the favorable decision.
Meanwhile, the global telescope consortium has insisted that it has made every possible effort to accommodate Hawaiians’ cultural and environmental concerns, including selecting a site that has no endangered plants, wildlife or shrines.
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