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State high court rules for group against telescope

December 19, 2013
Maui Weekly

The Maui News - The Hawai'i Supreme Court ruled last week in favor of Kilakila 'O Haleakala, a group that opposes what it calls the "desecration of Haleakala" from the construction of a $300 million Advanced Technology Solar Telescope. But the high court's ruling may be only academic.

The University of Hawai'i's and the National Science Foundation have been developing the solar telescope jointly. Construction began Nov. 30, 2012. Responding to the ruling, university officials said the telescope is being built under the 2012 permit, which followed a lengthy contested case and was unanimously approved by the Board of Land and Natural Resources. "Today's Supreme Court ruling was with respect to an earlier 2010 permit that was superseded by the 2012 permit," officials said. "The Supreme Court's ruling does not affect the 2012 permit. The university expects that construction of the ATST will continue under the 2012 permit."

Native Hawaiian Legal Corp. Attorney David Kimo Frankel said, "It remains to be seen" whether the 2012 permit supersedes the one granted two years earlier."



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