(BIVN) – Tuesday was an important deadline in the Thirty Meter Telescope contested case hearing.
On May 30, participants had to finish their proposed Findings of Fact, Conclusions of Law, & Decision and Orders and deliver the document to the Hawaii state land board.
The documents are essentially the “final arguments” in the months-long quasi-judicial proceeding regarding the University of Hawaii’s Conservation District Use Permit application for land near the summit of Mauna Kea, which – if granted – would allow UH to sublease the spot to the TMT observatory.
The issue of whether or not to build the Thirty Meter Telescope has deeply divided the island community. On Tuesday, both sides took to the streets to show their support for the participants in the extraordinarily lengthy contested case hearing.
In Hilo, TMT supporters gathered on the highway near the Walgreens, holding signs and waving to passing vehicles. The event was recorded by TMT and distributed to media.
“We’d like to thank all our supporters who stood by us throughout the hearings process,” said TMT executive director Ed Stone. “Everyone’s voices were heard during the 44 days of hearings, and we are hopeful that a state permit will be issued to allow construction of TMT on Maunakea. Hawaii remains our first choice and we are still hopeful that TMT construction can begin by April 2018.”
In Waimea, supporters of those who stood on the mountain in 2016 in opposition to the project took
a place on Church Row.
Contested case participant E. Kalana Flores was among them. “As you can see,” Flores told Camille Keawekane-Stafford, who provided the video to BIVN. “Many of us haven’t slept, haven’t shaved, haven’t done much in the past couple days other than typing at a computer.”
According to the Department of Land and Natural Resources website, June 13 is the deadline for responses to the proposed decisions and orders.