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Posted: Tuesday, July 29th, 2014 1:44 PM HST

Board denies challenges to telescope's approval

By Associated Press

HONOLULU (AP) The Hawaii Board of Land and Natural Resources has denied requests to contest the approval of the sublease for the Thirty Meter Telescope.

This allows construction to move forward for the $1.3 billion telescope that will be one of the largest in the world.

The University of Hawaii currently leases land from the state where the telescope would be built on the summit of Mauna Kea. The board last month approved the sublease but deferred it going into effect pending contested case requests.

Opponents raised questions about whether appraisals of the land were done appropriately and whether Native Hawaiians were properly consulted.

The board denied the contested case requests Friday.

Construction is scheduled to start later this year.

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