The U.S. government finally approved the construction of the «telescope of discord» in Hawaii

© Photo : TMT Observatory CorporationТак the artist has envisioned 30-meter telescope on mount Mauna Kea, the construction permit of which was revoked by the U.S. courtThe U.S. government finally approved the construction of the «telescope of discord» in Hawaii© Photo by : TMT Observatory Corporation

. Regulators of the Hawaiian Islands officially returned to the scientists permission for the construction of the largest optical Observatory in the world on top of the mountain Mauna Kea, has already caused protests from local residents in the past, reports the news service of the journal Science.

«It was one of the most difficult decisions ever taken by the Council on the use of land and natural resources Hawaii. We tried to consider all of the claims and concerns of opponents of the construction of the telescope on the mountain Mauna Kea,» said Suzanne Case (Case Susanna), Chairman of the Board.

The idea to build another big telescope in the Hawaiian Islands, in addition to the Keck Observatory, was born in the American scientific community in 2000, and quickly found support in an international environment. Formed an international consortium of TMT, which was ready to allocate for the construction of the telescope more than a billion dollars.

The place of construction of the telescope, in accordance with the plans of the TMT, announced in 2009, was supposed to be the top of the mountain Mauna Kea, and in 2011, scientists received permission for the construction of the telescope from the local Bureau of natural and land resources. According to representatives of the consortium, in 2010, they conducted a series of consultations with local residents, and the idea of building a telescope, they were not summoned at that time, no complaints.

The situation changed in October 2014 when construction began on the telescope. Almost immediately with the start of design work on the site appeared a group of activists, which forced the builders to stop work. As a result, the construction of the telescope was postponed, first to April 2015, and then to June 2015 and again shut down in August 2015, when there was a series of mass protests against the construction of TMT.

In December 2015, the Supreme court of Hawaii revoked the license for the construction of the telescope, finding «irregularities» in the procedure of its issuance to TMT consortium, inviting scientists to re-check procedure, which should be completed in November 2016. Such a step the court has forced scholars to think about other options for the construction of the Observatory, including its migration to the Canary Islands where similar problems with activists there.

In the end, the judges took the side of scientists and returned them permission to build the telescope in July of this year. Was the last formality is to obtain approval to resume construction work at the Council for the use of land and natural resources Hawaii.

Tonight members of the Council thus concluded its consideration of the arguments of scientists and their opponents and voted for the re-issuance of a building permit TMT. According to officials, this decision was based on broad support from the public address of scientists and the fact that the leadership of the Observatory has agreed to allocate two million dollars a year on environmental protection of slopes of Mauna Kea and education of the local population.

Opponents of the construction of the telescope immediately accused the officials of bias, saying that they did not listen to their arguments and ruled in favor of the scientists, not really delving into the details of the dispute. As stated Kealoha of Pisciotta (Kealoha Pisciotta), the leader of the protesters, her group has filed a lawsuit against the officials and demanded not to begin construction of the telescope at the time, while their application will be considered by the judicial authorities.