State issues notice to proceed for TMT project

Posted on Jun 22, 2019 in Capitol Connection, Featured
Governor Ige with UH President David Lassner, Attorney General Clare Connors and DLNR Chair Suzanne Case at news conference.

Governor Ige with UH President David Lassner, Attorney General Clare Connors and DLNR Chair Suzanne Case at news conference.

Construction is expected to begin this summer on Hawai‘i island’s Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) on Mauna Kea following the Hawai‘i Supreme Court’s decision in October 2018 to uphold the Conservation District Use Permit approved by the state Board of Land and Natural Resources in 2017. At a June 20 news conference, Governor Ige announced the state has issued  a notice to proceed with the project. The appropriate agencies will work with TMT representatives to determine the start date.

The governor, attorney general Clare Connors, DLNR chair Suzanne Case and UH president David Lassner all emphasized the importance of stewardship, safety and security during construction. “We will proceed in a way that respects all people and all perspectives,” Governor Ige said. “We are all stewards of Mauna Kea, and I will continue to work with the University of Hawai‘i and   all our partners to contribute to the co-existence of culture and science on Mauna Kea.”

Attorney General Connors reiterated the responsibility of the state to protect the rights of all who engage in lawful activity on Mauna Kea, including cultural practitioners, scientists and construction workers who need safe access to the mountain as well as the right to engage in free speech. “Remember that this is part of a much larger conversation about the stewardship of Mauna Kea,” Connors said. “The safety of our community depends on people respecting the law and each other.” UH president Lassner added, “This is an important milestone in what has been a decade-long public process…. (This telescope) will stretch the bounds of discovery, helping us see farther into our universe than ever before, literally back to the beginning of time and our very origins.”

Read more in the July Capitol Connection newsletter

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