TMT Project Manager Statement on ‘Denied Access’
Thirty Meter Telescope Project Manager Gary Sanders has released a public statement on the “denied access” to the project TMT site:
“TMT, its contractors, and their union employees, have been denied access to our project site by a blockaded road. Our access via a public road has been blocked with protestors and we have patiently waited for law enforcement to allow our workers the access to which they are entitled. We sat in our vehicles for eight hours awaiting a peaceful resolution from law enforcement. There was no resolution and our access continues to be denied.”
Sanders noted that permitting and sublease process was a seven-year public process and agency review.
During a contested case hearing, Sanders said that the project’s Conservation District Use Permit was upheld by the hearings officer with the conclusion that TMT is consistent with the purpose of the Conservation District and should be granted its permit.
On March 6, the State Department of Land and Natural Resources agreed with the ruling and issued the TMT project a Notice to Proceed, saying that the project met all pre-construction requirements in the CDUP and associated management plan.
The Land Board also approved TMT’s sublease with the University of Hawai’i.
Ending his statement, Sanders said, “We’ve been patient, but the time has come to allow us access to the public roadway and our project site.”