East Hawaii News

TMT Statement on Attempted Construction

June 24, 2015, 8:22 PM HST
* Updated June 24, 8:25 PM
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Thirty Meter Telescope International Observatory Board Chair Henry Yang released a statement Wednesday night:

“This is a difficult day for Hawai’i and TMT. As we attempted to begin our work today, we were met by protests that regrettably resulted in some arrests. Boulders blocked our access to the construction site and the Department of Land and Natural Resources deemed it unsafe for us to proceed. For the safety of our team, we made the decision to bring them off the mountain and we are planning to resume when the issue is resolved.

“We want to thank the state and county police officers for protecting the safety of our team and the protesters and extend our gratitude to them, as well as to all of our supporters in Hawai’i.

“We want to acknowledge and reach out to those who disagree with our project. We respect their views and, looking toward the future, we hope we can work together to find common ground.”

Hundreds of protesters gathered on Mauna Kea Wednesday morning as TMT crews were expected to begin work at the construction site. Protesters blocked the roadway, resulting in a total of 12 arrests, 11 by DLNR officials and one by the Hawai’i Police Department.

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The Office of Governor David Ige released a statement Wednesday evening expressing concern over boulders placed on the roadway. Due to the concern of the boulders, the state will work to clear the roadway Thursday, and as a result, TMT construction has been postponed until further notice.

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