(BIVN) – The contested case hearing for the Thirty Meter Telescope Conservation District Use Permit for Mauna Kea consumed much of 2017.
It was a lengthy redo of the first contest case, conducted years before, that the Hawaii Supreme Court nullified due to procedural problems. The applicants – the University of Hawai‘i – joined the TMT International Observatory and the nonprofit PUEO on one side, while those opposed to the planned observatory were on the other. They all spent months presenting their cases, cross examining testifiers, and arguing the details of the land board’s quasi-judicial process.
When it was all finished, the hearing officer – retired judge Ricky May Amano – rendered her recommendation in favor of granting the permit for the billion-dollar observatory.
The state land board held one more hearing in Hilo for final arguments, and ultimately voted to approve the permit application.
The ruling did not sit well with the TMT opposition, who immediately appealed to the courts.