1/12/17 – Osorio and Spies Testify for TMT Opponents
Day 26 of the contested case hearings had two witnesses take the stand on behalf of the TMT opponents: University of Hawaii Hawaiian Studies professor Jonathan Osorio and scientist Narissa Spies. Both Osorio and Spies were called to testify by KAHEA: The Environmental Alliance.
With over two dozen expert witnesses testifying so far since the hearings began in October, some TMT supporters have asked what happens next in the process once the testimony phase of the hearings is done.
Attorney Douglas Ing, who has represented TMT at the hearings in Hilo, said once the testimony is complete, hearings officer Riki May Amano will compile and review the hearing’s testimony and findings to determine a recommendation for the state land board (officially known as the state Board of Land and Natural Resources) on the matter.
All the documented testimony, exhibits and court reporter’s transcripts will be included in an official record of the case, Ing explained. Based on the compiled testimony, both sides of the TMT debate will then be allowed to make final arguments on why a state Conservation District Use Permit (CDUP) should or shouldn’t be issued to allow TMT construction along Maunakea.
From there, Amano will make a recommendation to the state land board on whether a CDUP should be granted.
Once Amano makes her recommendation, Ing said, all contested case parties will be given an opportunity to agree with or take exception to individual findings or the conclusion of Amano’s recommendation, and would be allowed to file their reasoning with the land board.
Once the state land board reviews the hearing officer’s findings and recommendation, it will hold its own hearing on the matter (At that particular hearing, the land board will hear final arguments, but no further testimony.)
The state land board will then make the ultimate decision on whether to approve or reject the issuance of a Conservation District Use Permit to lessee University of Hawaii to allow construction of TMT on Maunakea.
Today is the last contested case hearing for the week, with the proceedings continuing next Thursday, January 19, at the Grand Naniloa Hotel in Hilo.