East Hawaii News

Circuit Court Vacates TMT’s Land Use Permit

February 24, 2016, 4:27 PM HST
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An artist's rendering of TMT with its vents open. TMT photo.

An artist’s rendering of TMT with its vents open. TMT photo.

Thirty Meter Telescope’s Conservation District Use Permit has officially been vacated.

An Order of Remand filed earlier this week in Third Circuit Court officially wipes out TMT’s permit and “remands this matter to the Board of Land and Natural Resources so that a contested case hearing can be conducted before the Board or a new hearing officer, or for other proceedings consistent with the Opinion.”

Earlier this month, attorneys involved in the case met with Circuit Court judge Greg Nakamura. The plaintiffs, Mauna Kea Anaina Hou, agreed during the conference to prepare the remand order for the court.

The State Supreme Court issued an emergency stay in November, keeping TMT crews from doing any construction work on Mauna Kea, even through telescope officials did not say that any construction was scheduled to take place. Two weeks later, the Supreme Court vacated the Circuit Court’s previous decision to uphold the permit issued by BLNR.

Earlier this month, TMT Executive Director Ed Stone told the Associated Press that he hoped the project would get underway by April 2018, and that the telescope’s board of directors agreed to look at other sites for the $1.8 billion project if efforts in Hawai’i continue to stall.

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