The contested case hearing over the Thirty Meter Telescope is gearing up. It is set to begin in Hilo on Tuesday.
But the sparring has already begun, and if the number of documents filed with the Department of Land and Natural Resources and the number of potential witnesses to be called are any measure of the discord to come, hearing officer Riki May Amano, a retired judge, will have her hands full keeping order in this forum.
The Thirty Meter Telescope is proposed to be built near the summit of Mauna Kea, but before construction can start, it needs to have a Conservation District Use Permit granted by the state Board of Land and Natural Resources. In 2010, the University of Hawaii-Hilo applied for the permit. The board voted to approve the permit, but at the same time ordered a contested case hearing be held.