Telescope Officials Maintain Alternative Site in Spain Even As Hawaiʻi Court Gives Go-Ahead

//Telescope Officials Maintain Alternative Site in Spain Even As Hawaiʻi Court Gives Go-Ahead

The Thirty Meter Telescope may have been given the go-ahead by the Hawaiʻi Supreme Court. But there’s still a lot that needs to happen before construction can take place on Mauna Kea. HPR Reporter Kuʻuwehi Hiraishi has this story

The Hawai’i Supreme Court decision to issue a Conservation District Use Permit for the Thirty Meter Telescope seems like a conclusive step in a nearly-decade long process. But Scott Ishikawa, spokesman for the project says telescope officials aren’t abandoning their plan B site in the Canary Islands just yet.

“That has always been plan B and we’ll keep that plan B in place,” says Ishikawa, “Just in the event you know for some reason or whatever reason TMT can’t be built on Mauna Kea.”

TMT officials signed a 75-year hosting agreement for the La Palma site and an environmental impact assessment has been submitted. If accepted, construction permits will be applied for. Ishikawa says the timeline for construction here in Hawaiʻi depends on two factors.

“One of them is we have to fill a number of requirements as part of that Conservation District Use Permit that was issued to us by the state. That’s one factor,” says Ishikawa, “The other one is we’re also going to have to work with the contractor to find out how much time they need to re-mobilize their crew and equipment to go back up the mountain.”

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