Lā 139: TMT PROPAGANDA!!! Common sense tells us that the TMT cannot meet the 8 criteria to build inside a conservation district. How could an 18 story building possibly preserve or improve upon existing physical and enviromental aspects...
The site: They keep wanting a pat on the back for not putting TMT on the actual summit, but really there's not enough space there to accommodate their giant footprint.
The size: it may be only 20% higher than the tallest existing telescope, but that one (Keck) is already too tall. TMT would be as tall as Aloha Tower, twice the height allowance of any building on Hawai`i Island. The tallest building on the island has no business on Mauna Kea. Also, TMT may only be visible from 14% of the island, but the existing telescopes are visible from 43% of the island--this is consistent with them trying to pretend like TMT is being proposed in a vacuum. People are sick of what's already there and they want to put more and people are saying, 'enough already'.
Preparing the Site: Indeed, 8 acres will not be excavated, but it will be disturbed. They will excavate 20 ft of earth under the 1.44 acres of building. The remainder acreage is a parking lot and a construction staging area ("batch plant") I believe. Also, I don't know about anyone else, but I'm not comfortable with them storing what they excavate for a few decades and then put it back. Who said that was adequate mitigation?
No Impact on the Aquifer: I don't understand their point here. Whether there is precipitation at the top or not (and of course there is), are they trying to claim that percolation of spilled materials will not occur? In the mid 2000s (not sure if it has changed) 50,000 gallons of human sewage was being generated monthly by telescope-related activity that would seep into the ground via septic-tank cesspools and outdated leach fields. (source: KAHEA, Sacred Summit Under Siege pamphlet)
TMT Meets the Criteria: common sense tells us that the TMT cannot meet the 8 criteria to build inside a conservation district. How could an 18 story building possibly preserve or improve upon existing physical and enviromental aspects of the land such as natural beauty and open space? Some may think a telescope is beautiful, but it's definitely not natural--and it definitely can't be constructed without diminishing open space.
What a farce!
Source Shelley Muneoka