Plan B site for TMT granted all necessary permits

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FILE – This July 24, 2009 file photo shows the Gran Telescopio Canarias, one of the the world’s largest telescopes, at the Observatorio del Roque de los Muchachos on the Canary Island of La Palma, Spain. The director of a Spanish research center says a giant telescope, costing $1.4 billion, is one step nearer to being built on the Canary Islands in the event an international consortium gives up its plans to build it in Hawaii. (AP Photo/Carlos Moreno, File)

If the Thirty Meter Telescope doesn’t get built in Hawaii, it will still get built.

According to TMT Vice President Gordon Squires, all of the necessary permitting for the telescope to get built on the island of La Palma in Spain. “We are very pleased and grateful that the permits have been granted in La Palma,” Squires said. “Mauna Kea remains the preferred site for TMT, but this is an essential step in the process for developing our ‘plan B,’ should it not be possible to build TMT in Hawaii. At this moment, there is no date set for determining our next steps for constructing TMT.”

La Palma was selected as a backup site for the TMT in 2016. Canary Islands Astrophysics Institute Director Rafael Rebolo told The Associated Press in an email that “There are no more building permits needed according to Spanish legislation.”

The proposed site on La Palma has already passed environmental impact evaluations. “The Canary Islands offer a very good solution so that the TMT can be built quickly and be a successful project for cutting-edge science,” Rebolo said.

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