TMT opponents file new lawsuit

Opponents of the Thirty Meter Telescope filed a lawsuit Monday alleging that public officials and the developer of the project failed to adhere to the terms of the state’s Maunakea Plan.

According to the suit, filed in Third Circuit Court in Hilo, the $1.4 billion observatory failed to post a security bond as required by the state’s 1977 plan for Maunakea.

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Nine people — including Gov. David Ige, Attorney General Clare Connors, Mayor Harry Kim, University of Hawaii President David Lassner, members of the Board of Natural Resources, are named as defendants in the suit — along with the Thirty Meter Telescope International Observatory.

The suit was filed by religious organization Mauna Kea Anaina Hou and eight TMT opponents.

The suit claims that because the Board of Land and Natural Resources issued the notice for TMT construction to proceed without the observatory having posted the required bond, the notice to proceed is invalid and the project cannot legally proceed.

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The petitioners seek an injunction against the TMT project developers prohibiting them from making use of the notice to proceed, or for the court to suspend the notice to proceed, until the security bond is filed.

See more about this story in Wednesday’s edition of the Tribune-Herald.

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