“Amano’s decision is just a recommendation. It is now up to the state Board of Land and Natural Resources to make an ultimate decision. DLNR officials say their first step will be to schedule a hearing for additional community feedback before voting, but at this time it’s unclear when that will take place.
State Attorney General Doug Chin says the Land Board can choose to approve the recommendation, reject the recommendation, or make amendments of their own to the recommendation.
It is widely believed that regardless of what the Land Board rules, it will be appealed to the state Supreme Court.
If that’s the case, Chin says the appeal will go directly to the state Supreme Court for consideration, bypassing a lower court review as a result of new legislation.
Chin says if the permit is approved, construction can begin immediately, even if an appeal is filed with the state Supreme Court (unless opponents are awarded an emergency injunction to prevent it).
And TMT is potentially facing another major hurdle that insiders say could significantly alter its plan.
In January 2016, a Circuit Court judge ordered yet another contested case hearing before construction on the telescope can begin, but the state has since appealed the ruling. The dispute has to do with whether a contested case hearing should have granted before a sublease was issued to TMT.
A TMT spokesman has reportedly said it is unclear how these decisions will affect the project or its timeline.
However, telescope officials have said they hope to begin construction on the summit of Mauna Kea by April 2018. Another delay could force the TMT board to consider moving the project to their alternate choice of the Canary Islands.”