Several groups and individuals have already submitted comments on the University of Hawaii’s request for a construction permit to build the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) on Mauna Kea. From our review of the application, it would be illegal to issue this permit:
Given the conclusion of previous environmental reviews, the TMT could not avoid concluding that:
“From a cumulative perspective, the impact on cultural resources has been and would continue to be substantial, adverse and significant.”
The regulations implementing Hawai‘i’s conservation district protections are clear. To issue a permit for a land use in the conservation district, the applicant must demonstrate that:
“The proposed land use will not cause substantial adverse impact to existing natural resources within the surrounding area, community or region.”
This means that given the conclusions of the TMT EIS, CDUA, and Management Plan, the Department cannot legally grant the TMT a permit to build in the conservation district, no matter how well it mitigates its negative impacts.
Full written comments:
Public hearings will be held Thursday at the County Council Building in Hilo at 6 pm and on Friday in Kona at NELHA at 6 pm. The BLNR is expected to make a decision sometime in the Spring of 2011, probably in Honolulu.