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University of Hawaii holding public hearings this week on proposed Mauna Kea rules

The University of Hawaii is holding four public hearings tonight through Friday on the latest draft of proposed rules governing public and commercial activity on UH-managed lands on Mauna Kea.

The current draft of proposed administrative rules was prepared after feedback from a first round of public hearings last year, and shared with stakeholder groups and the public during a three-month, informal outreach process that started in January.

On April 18, the UH Board of Regents approved holding a second round of public hearings on this version.

The university said it has received hundreds of written and oral comments and suggestions to date, which significantly shaped the latest draft. The public is encouraged to continue to participate in the process.

“The public participation in the hearings is really, really important because without that participation we can’t anticipate all the different ways that the rules may impact different groups,” said Greg Chun, Maunakea special advisor to the UH President.

After the four public hearings, the rules may be further refined. They will then be presented to the UH Board of Regents at a public meeting planned for July 19. The regents may approve the rules, request a third round of public hearings or defer decision-making.

The proposed changes include restrictions on commercial tours, limits snow play, prohibits drones and remote controlled terrestrial vehicles, and establishes fines for breaking rules.

If approved by the regents, the rules will proceed through the administrative rules process, and go to the governor for final review and approval.

Public hearings are scheduled for:

>> Oahu: 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. today, Manoa Elementary School, 3155 Manoa Road.

>> Big Island: 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Waiakea Elementary School, 180 W. Puainako Street, Hilo

>> Big Island: 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Waikoloa Elementary and Middle School, 68-1730 Hooko Street, Waikoloa.

>> Maui: 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Friday at Pomaikai Elementary School, 4650 S. Kamehameha Avenue, Kahului.

Anyone unable to attend the public hearing may submit written testimony regarding the proposed rules by mail to the UH System Government at UHHAR@hawaii.edu or through the University website at hawaii.edu/govrel/uhhar-testimony. All written submissions must be received at or prior to closing of the last scheduled public hearing. All oral and written testimony is public information.

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