Rule-making petition: Consider cane smoke in SMA process

Maui Planning Commission Asked to Consider Cane Smoke

Wailuku, HI – On September 22 Christopher Profio filed to ask that the Maui Planning Commission include sugarcane smoke as a factor when granting a special management area use permit (SMA). Profio asserts that smoke and ash from the nine or ten months of sugarcane burning conducted by Alexander & Baldwin each year creates a hazard for people as well as the ecosystem and should be considered when granting SMA permits.

“Builders and potential buyers should be aware of the impacts of smoke and ash on the subject property,” said Profio.

The rule would apply to all requests for SMA permits. Profio maintains that the ash stresses the reefs which are already experiencing bleaching from the higher water temperatures and existing runoff. “The Planning Commission needs to consider whether the target development will add to this stress. Areas experiencing ash from cane burning are less likely to tolerate additional stress of, for instance, construction run-off.”

But the biggest reason Profio wants the Planning Commission to consider smoke and ash from cane burning is the health of potential inhabitants of shoreline developments. “We know from the 1,646 smoke complaints submitted to the Department of Health in the last year that existing developments are being negatively impacted by smoke,” he said. “So it is important that we stop building in the path of the smoke.”

Profio went on to say. “I find it disturbing that Alexander & Baldwin, itself, creates the smoke and ash and then builds homes and businesses in the areas impacted by their pollution.”

State law requires the Maui Planning Commission to hold a public hearing on the petition within 30 days. The Commission can deny the petition or grant the petition which would begin the formal rule making process.


Copy of Proposed Rule Change:

Additionally there is a write up of this at the Maui News where Rick Volner, head of HC&S, claims that smoke does not cause lung disease (which contradicts numerous peer-reviewed scientific studies).

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