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The Latest: AG to see if rulings affect giant telescope

October 06, 2016 - 5:28 PM

HONOLULU - The Latest on a ruling affirming a permit to build a solar telescope on a Maui mountain (all times local):

2:15 p.m.

The state attorney general's office will review Hawaii Supreme Court rulings upholding a Maui solar telescope project to determine if there's any impact to a similar challenge to build a giant telescope on the Big Island.

Thursday's ruling affirms the state land board's decision to grant a permit to build the solar telescope on Haleakala (hah-leh-AH'-ka-lah). In a separate ruling, the court says the University of Hawaii followed proper procedure for an environmental assessment.

Telescope opponents had hoped the court would rule the way it did last year when it invalidated a permit to build the Thirty Meter Telescope on Mauna Kea. Construction is stalled, pending a new contested case hearing scheduled to begin this month.

The Maui telescope is scheduled to be operational in 2019.

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1:20 p.m.

Hawaii's Supreme Court is affirming a permit to build a solar telescope on a Maui mountain.

Thursday's ruling denies a challenge by a group seeking to protect the sacredness of Haleakala (hah-leh-AH'-ka-lah). The ruling says the University of Hawaii followed proper procedure for an environmental assessment.

University President David Lassner says he's pleased.

Last year, eight people were arrested when protesters tried to stop a construction convoy heading to the solar telescope site. Protest leader Kahele Dukelow says opponents are disappointed and considering further action.

They hoped the decision would be similar to the court's ruling last year that invalidated a permit to build a giant telescope on the Big Island's Mauna Kea. That project has been the focus of more intense protests.

The Maui telescope is scheduled to be operational in 2019.

News from © The Associated Press, 2016
The Associated Press

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