Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope on track to be operational in 2019
UH News, October 6, 2016
The Hawaiʻi State Supreme Court has affirmed the Conservation District Use Permit for the construction of the Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope on Haleakalā, Maui. The majority opinion said that the telescope is consistent with the purposes of the conservation district. The high court also unanimously affirmed the environmental assessment, which protects natural resources in the Haleakalā Observatories site.
The vertical, external construction of the $340-million telescope is complete. The remaining work is internal and the project is on budget and on track to be operational in 2019.
“The University of Hawaiʻi is pleased with the State Supreme Court’s actions today,” said UH President David Lassner. “We are still reviewing the full decisions, but we look forward to ‘first light’ when the Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope will open a new era of discovery, in Hawaiʻi, about the sun and its daily impacts on all life on Earth.”
UH Mānoa Institute for Astronomy Director Günther Hasinger says the Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope will provide a unique new capability that will enable new insights into solar phenomena.
“Scientists will be able to see more clearly into the heart of sunspots, flares and other solar activity,” said Hasinger. “New understandings of how the sun works, such as learning to predict solar storms, is vital to protect vital space-based assets such as communication and weather satellites and earth-based assets such as our power grids. This will also inspire the next generation of discoverers and explorers from among Hawaiʻi’s youth.”
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STATEMENT REGARDING SUPREME COURT OPINIONS IN HALEAKALA TELESCOPE CASES
News Release from Hawaii Attorney General Office October 6, 2016
HONOLULU – Today the Hawaii Supreme Court issued two opinions related to the Haleakala Telescope on Maui. The first opinion unanimously agreed that the management plan for the Haleakala summit provided a sufficient assessment of potential environmental impacts from the Telescope. By a 3-2 majority, the second opinion affirmed the state land board’s decision in 2012 to grant a permit to build the Telescope.
Attorney General Doug Chin issued the following statement in response: “We respect the Court’s decisions and will consider them carefully to determine what impact, if any, they have on future matters before the state land board, including the Thirty Meter Telescope. The justices continue to stress the importance of conducting a fair process for all projects on public lands.”
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