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BLNR approves Thirty Meter Telescope, contested case hearing

Karin Stanton | Hawaii 24/7 Editor

The state Board of Land and Natural Resources has unanimously approved a permit to build the Thirty Meter Telescope atop Mauna Kea.

The board, which met Friday on Oahu, also OK’d a request by opponents for a contested case hearing. No date has been announced.

Opponents have said the construction on conservation land would further defile the sacred mountain and have threatened to sue.

Others say the project will bring good jobs and an economic boost to the Big Island.

The TMT would be the world’s largest optical/infrared telescope, with a primary mirror 98 feet in diameter and a light-gathering capacity nine times greater than that of the 10-meter W.M. Keck Observatory’s twin telescopes, now the largest in the United States.

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