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TMT Addresses Building Permit Application for La Palma

August 5, 2019, 12:06 PM HST (Updated August 5, 2019, 12:48 PM)
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TMT protest, DAY 3, Wednesday, July 17, 2019. PC: Gerald Besson

Canary Islands Astrophysics Institute Director Rafael Rebolo told The Associated Press on Monday, Aug. 5, 2019, that Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) Executive Director Ed Stone sent him a letter indicating the TMT board will move forward with an application to procure a building permit on the island of La Palma, an alternate site for the telescope should issues with its construction on Mauna Kea not be resolved.

Stone responded Monday in a release regarding the $1.4 billion project now entering its third week of delays since protestors took to the mountain to block the path of construction equipment up Mauna Kea Access Road.

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“We continue to follow the process to allow for TMT to be constructed at the ‘plan B’ site in La Palma should it not be possible to build in Hawai‘i,” Stone said. “This process has been ongoing since 2016. Maunakea remains the preferred site for TMT.”

Hawai‘i County Mayor Harry Kim has assumed the lead negotiating role in talks with protectors of Mauna Kea. Those talks remain ongoing.

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