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Law to expedite appeals of contested cases approved, could affect TMT project


    This artists rendering made available by the TMT Observatory Corporation shows the proposed Thirty Meter Observatory.

Gov. David Ige signed a bill that aims to expedite the resolution of disputes involving various state agencies, his office announced today.

House Bill 1581, now Act 48, will allow contested case hearings before the commissions on Water Resource Management, Land Use, Public Utilities, the Hawaii Community Development Authority and cases involving conservation districts to be directly appealed to the state Supreme Court.

The law, which could affect the case of the Thirty Meter Telescope project, which is being built in a conservation district, also requires the high court to give priority to contested case appeals of significant statewide importance.

“The ability to directly appeal a contested case decision to the Hawaii Supreme Court will be very efficient, saving both time and money for all parties involved,” House Majority Leader Scott Saiki (D, McCully, Kaheka, Kakaako, Downtown) said in a statement. “A Supreme Court decision will provide finality for a contested case much sooner than if appeals must be taken at various court levels.”

The new law takes effect on Aug. 1.

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  • Cutting corners and taking shortcuts is what turned the TMT construction into the mess it is today. I really hope the new decision to present before the State Supreme Court is a good idea. And, hopefully the absolutely best outcome to continue building the TMT telescope will prevail.

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