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Friday, April 13, 2018
TMT Board Postpones Decision on Telescope Site
By News Release @ 11:36 AM :: 5252 Views :: Greenmail, Higher Education, OHA

TMT BOARD POSTPONES DECISION ON LOCATION OF THIRTY METER TELESCOPE

News Release from TMT La Palma, April 13, 2018 (Translated) 

April 13, 2018. The Board of Directors of the TMT International Observatory (TIO) at its meeting this week postponed the decision to build the Thirty-Meter Telescope in Hawaii or the Canary Islands.

A decision will be made about the location of the thirty meter Telescope as legal and regulatory processes are advanced in both proposed locations.

"We continue to assess the current situation as we work to make a decision," said Ed Stone, executive director of the TMT International Observatory (TIO).

In Hawaii, there are two appeals before the Supreme Court of Hawaii. The Hawaii state land board, also known as the Hawaii Board of Land and Natural Resources, voted last fall to reissue a Conservation District Use Permit that would allow construction of the telescope in Maunakea. The matter has been appealed to the Supreme Court of Hawaii and legal writs have been filed in that case.

The oral argument for the other judicial appeal, which implies a consent for the sublease, was carried out before the Supreme Court of Hawaii in March.

"The TMT is grateful that the legal process in Hawaii is moving forward and we hope that court decisions will allow us to resume construction in Maunakea," said TIO Board President Henry Yang. "We remain respectful and will continue to follow the legal and regulatory process."

The permit application process in the Canary Islands, in La Palma, continues. The environmental impact assessment of the project has been submitted to the competent authorities and, once the document is accepted, construction permits and other authorizations will be requested.

"While Maunakea remains our preferred option," Stone said, "we continue to work closely with the appropriate authorities regarding the alternative location in the Canary Islands."

The construction of the infrastructure and elements of the Thirty Meter Telescope is ongoing by the partners participating in the project.

"With the work of the project partners progressing, we are ready to begin construction on the ground," Stone added.

---30---

Related: Thirty Meter Telescope deadline Pushed Back to November

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