What’s going on: The TMT Corporation and the University of Hawai?i Board of Regents are proposing to build a massive 18-story telescope, office building, road, and parking lot–called the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT)–on undeveloped conservation lands and “ceded” lands on Mauna Kea.
Wrong for the Mountain: The law doesn’t allow for this level of industrial development on conservation lands, like Mauna Kea. The law (HAR 13-5-30) outlines clear criteria that must be met before construction can be allowed on conservation lands in Hawai?i, including:
– The development may not “cause substantial adverse impact to existing natural resources within
the surrounding area, community, or region.”
– “The existing physical and environmental aspects of the land, such as natural beauty and open space
characteristics, will be preserved or improved upon, whichever is applicable.”
The TMT can’t satisfy these criteria. This development (18 stories, 8 acre construction footprint) would
multiply industrial land use on Mauna Kea, forever altering the natural beauty and sacred vista of the
northern plateau. Construction will impact fragile habitats of native plants and animals found only on Mauna Kea, with no guarantee of restoration when the lease term ends, in a mere 21 years. (year 2033).
Here’s what their own permit application (CDUA) and EIS say about their development project:
How big is it?
– 184 ft. tall (18 stories), plus 20 ft. below ground
– Construction footprint: over 8 acres disturbed
– Completed structure footprint: over 5 acres
– Average American football field is 1.32 acres
– Telescope: 34,000 sq. ft.
– Support and office building: 21,000 sq. ft.
– Will excavate 64,000 cubic yards of summit area
– Will add 3,400 ft of new road
– Largest development ever proposed in summit region,
would be second largest telescope in the world, if built
What impact would it have?
– Construction proposed for the northern plateau, some of the last undeveloped area on the summit
– Structure will interrupt viewplane to Haleakal?
– Will be visible from 14% of the island, including Waimea Park, Pu‘u Kapu & Wa?awa?a, Honoka?a, & Pu?ukohal?
– Current telescopes are visible from 43% of the island
– Telescope operations will create 74 dbA of noise
– Will produce 120-250 cubic feet of solid waste a week
– Will use 5,000 gallon underground tank to for waste storage, including hazardous chemicals
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