HILO, Hawaii (AP) - The University of Hawaii is putting a request for new Mauna Kea leases on hold while it conducts an environmental impact study.
The Hawaii Tribune-Herald reports (http://bit.ly/19cuDEQ ) the request before the state Department of Land and Natural Resources would cover the Mauna Kea Science Reserve and Hale Pohaku Mid-Level Facilities through 2078.
University Relations Director Jerry Chang at the University of Hawaii at Hilo says the school hopes the study will prevent legal challenges to a new lease.
Chang says the school is trying to cover its bases.
The Office of Hawaiian Affairs and other critics of the request say the study is needed to determine how a longer lease and more development could affect the mountain.
Chang says the study will cost about $1 million.