Opportunity, science, development, education. These are many of the words used to described the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) project on Mauna Kea by TMT workers.
Ancestors, sacred grounds, history, conservation. These are many of the words used to describe Mauna Kea by dozens of protestors fighting against the development of the 14th telescope on top of Mauna Kea.
There are two very opposing arguments between TMT-fanatics and those of the protestors, but one argument that is showing itself to be very relevant is whether or not the TMT project is in violation of 8 legal requirements and state laws governing the districts.
Pictured below are 8 signs used by the protestors on Mauna Kea displaying what they believe are the 8 legal requirements the TMT project is in violation of.
The Unviersity of Hawaii, Hilo (UHH) has stated in a recent article on their website that ‘there have been inaccurate claims made about the project recently. The most common is that TMT is a danger to the Maunakea aquifer and drinking water on Hawa'i Island. Comprehensive research by expert hydrologists confers that TMT and the existing 13 telescopes pose no such danger.”
In response to the allegations that the TMT project violated 8 legal requirements, UH Hilo stated in their article that “The Third Circuit Court ruled that
TMT did meet the criteria by being consistent with state laws governing the districts, not causing substantial adverse impact to existing natural resources, being compatible with the surrounding area, preserving the existing physical and environmental aspects, not subdividing or increasing the intensity of the land use and not being materially detrimental to the public health, safety and welfare. State regulations specifically identify astronomy as a permitted use in the Maunakea Science Reserve.” (read UHH full here)
UH Hilo has subleased the area to build the TMT.
In a recent written statement to Big Island Video News, Gary Sanders, TMT Project Manager stated, “TMT, its contractors and their union employees have been denied access to our project site by a blockaded road. Our access via a public road has been blocked by protestors and we have patiently waited for law enforcement to allow our workers the access to which they are entitled.”