MAUNA KEA, Hawaii – The permit allowing the Thirty Meter Telescope to be built and operated on Mauna Kea has been thrown out by the Hawaii Supreme Court.
In the conclusion of a 58 page opinion written by Chief Justice Mark E. Recktenwald, the court vacated the lower circuit court’s “May 5, 2014 Decision and Order Affirming Board of Land and Natural Resources, State of Hawaii’s Findings of Fact, Conclusions of Law and Decision and Order Granting Conservation District Use Permit for the Thirty Meter Telescope at the Mauna Kea Science Reserve Dated April 12, 2013, and final judgment thereon.” The Supreme Court remanded the matter to the circuit court “to further remand to BLNR for proceedings consistent with this opinion, so that a contested case hearing can be conducted before the Board or a new hearing officer, or for other proceedings consistent with this opinion.”
As many predicted after hearing the court’s questions during the oral arguments presented on August 27 (video below), the court found that the Board of Land and Natural Resources “acted improperly when it issued the permit prior to holding a contested case hearing.” The court says BLNR’s February 25, 2011 approval violated Hawaii’s constitutional guarantee of due process.
Read more at Big Island Video News, and at Nature.com. DGR member Will Falk worked on the Mauna Kea campaign and published a series of essays of the TMT project; you can find them at Deep Green Resistance Hawaii.