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This undated file artist rendering shows the proposed Thirty Meter Telescope, planned to be built atop Mauna Kea, a large dormant volcano in Hilo on the Big Island of Hawaii in Hawaii. (TMT Observatory Corporation)

Telescope permit decision appealed to Hawaii Supreme Court

HONOLULU- Opponents of a giant telescope planned for a Hawaii mountain are appealing the state land board’s approval of the project’s construction permit.

Richard Wurdeman, an attorney representing some of the opponents, filed a notice of appeal with the state Supreme Court on Monday.

The board in September approved a construction permit for Thirty Meter Telescope. Opponents of the $1.4 billion project say it will desecrate land sacred to Native Hawaiians while supporters say it will provide educational and economic opportunities.

The opponents appealed directly to the state Supreme Court because of a law that allows certain contested-case hearing decisions to bypass the Intermediate Court of Appeals.

Kealoha Pisciotta, one of the leaders fighting the telescope, says other participants opposing the project are expected to also file appeals this week.

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