UPDATE: Governor Rescinds Emergency Proclamation on Mauna Kea

July 30, 2019, 2:33 PM HST (Updated July 31, 2019, 1:47 PM)
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TMT protest, DAY 3, Wednesday, July 17, 2019. PC: Gerald Besson

UPDATE: July 30, 2019, 7:03 PM

TMT Spokesperson Scott Ishikawa issued a statement Tuesday night, July 30, 2019:

“The two-year extension to the CDUP was requested out of an abundance of caution because the project has been challenged on so many things. We continue to support the ongoing conversations around those issues that are larger than TMT and Maunakea. At the same time, it is important for us to get started as soon as possible.”

ORIGINAL POST: July 30, 2019, 2:33 PM

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Gov. David Ige has rescinded the emergency proclamation he declared a couple weeks back to allocate resources and expedite construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) atop Mauna Kea, a decision protesters and several local, state and federal politicians have called for in recent days.

During a press conference on the afternoon of Tuesday, July 30, 2019, the governor said the pending weather concerns threatening Hawai‘i Island would have likely delayed telescope production regardless.

Gov. Ige also told reporters the Hawai‘i Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) has approved a two-year extension, allowing the state to push back construction of TMT more than two years until September of 2021. Construction of the telescope may take up to 10 years to complete.

Now in its 16th day, the TMT protest shows no sign of dissipating. Concerns about incoming weather, as two hurricanes threaten to impact Hawai‘i, may prompt an agreement between Native Hawaiian leaders and the state to allow protecters to vacate the mountain for safety purposes without construction equipment being moved up the mountain.

TMT has said it’s dedicated to building its telescope on Hawai‘i Island, although a back-up site on La Palma in the Canary Islands remains an option.

Hawai‘i County Mayor Harry Kim assumed the role of head negotiator and representative of the state’s interest on the matter on Wednesday, July 24, 2019. However, the mayor made it clear early on he had no authority to rescind the emergency proclamation, leaving it on Gov. Ige to make the call he did on Tuesday.

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