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Telescope opponents file petition for contested case hearing on emergency Mauna Kea rule

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HONOLULU — Lawyers representing two men opposed to building a giant telescope in Hawaii are challenging a recently enacted emergency rule restricting access to the mountain where it will be built.

Williamson Chang filed a petition Wednesday with the state Department of Land and Natural Resources seeking to repeal the rule approved last week. The rule restricts being on Mauna Kea during certain nighttime hours and bringing certain camping-related gear.

Chang wants the department to hold a contested case hearing.

His petition says the rule prevents telescope opponents from legally exercising their rights to peacefully protest the $1.4 billion project. The state says the rule is necessary because too many people camping on the mountain created safety concerns.

The state attorney general's office is reviewing the petition.

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