EPA and State DOH CAB meet with stakeholders concerning Maui air quality

This afternoon (2/27/13), the Federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and well as the Hawaii Department of Health, Clean Air Branch (DOH-CAB) traveled to Maui to meet with an invited group of stakeholders (including KCA), concerning the general operations of Alexandra & Baldwin’s (A & B), Hawaii Commercial and Sugar (H C & S) and its effect on the Island’s air quality.

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7 comments on “EPA and State DOH CAB meet with stakeholders concerning Maui air quality

  1. Joy Brann on said:

    Wish I could have been there. I hope to hear more of what happened at this meeting and what we can do to improve air quality and abolish polluting ag practices.

  2. Ralph Heino on said:

    I was encouraged to see that there is some examination of the air quality and fall-out
    from A&B and HCS operations going on currently.

  3. Mike Moran on said:

    KCA continues to ask the State Dept of Health, Clean Air Branch for a public meeting in Kihei, but to no avail

  4. Unmani Cynthia Groves on said:

    A few options re: air quality related to cane burning, vog and pesticide aerial spraying:
    GO TO

    1. Report cane smoke incidents http://www.stopcaneburning.org On the right hand side of the website, respond under in one click. The oftener the better if it is a real issue for you and your family! The data is very important. Dr. Lorrin Pang at the HI Health Dept. is collecting the data to present to the EPA.

    2. Protect yourself. The cane burn hot line again is 877-6963 which you can check before you go to bed meanwhile to close windows and doors during burning.

    3. Obtain and use an air purifier during vog and cane burning. Some air conditioning systems have a filter built in. It doesn’t solve the problem for those whose homes that don’t have those options, but it’s a way to protect yourself and your family.

    4. Petitions SIGN to stop the cane burning and utilize greener methods. H Cand S at least offer notifications.

    5. We do not have pesticide aerial spraying notification from big ag or our government.
    I’ve recently written and spoken to Civil Defense 270-7285 on Maui to look into “requiring notification of aerial pesticide spraying” since it is a “public safety hazard” and they have the calling mechanism for public safety hazards such as weather already,

    6. I further made that request as an amendment on the pesticide registry bill in the state house this session. The amendment was not accepted by the House AG Committee attached to that bill to at least bring that option to their awareness. It may take a stand alone bill. It does take public response probably a reporting mechanism like on the cane burning website.

    7. Contact Civil Defense in writing anna.foust@mauicounty.gov to voice your concern. Copy me at unmanib@maui.net so I know the extent of the response. This may be more of an issue upcountry than Kihei. I do know from testimony at the capitol in the last few weeks that it is a big problem on Kauai. With more big ag taking up lands here, we can put something in place to protect human and animal health with at least notification. According to Gary Hooser, Councilmember of Kauai people are getting sick from pesticide spraying, and at school two kids fainted and the whole class had to stay out of school for a few days due to illness. http://garyhooser.wordpress.com/2013/02/21/its-not-about-eating-the-corn/

  5. This morning we have a lot of “Maui Snow” cane ash on our lanai.My wife has difficulty breathing and sleeping with this smoke and residue.We have an IQ air cleaning unit with a chemical filter which helps and we close up our house but the effect is still bad. And we live in South Kihei,we feel for our northern neighbors.

  6. It would be interesting if a study could be done to see if the people of Maui per captia seem to exhibit higher levels of allergies and asthma compared to other parts of America. Maybe if there was something to show this, something like this might help to get something done.

    Maybe some of the thinking going on over the years is wrong, or people just don’t care that want to continue their burning. I personally believe it’s the latter, the people that do this don’t care. You have to be a complete idiot to think this does not create a health issue at some level.

    And what I mean by wrong, of course if you burn a field 20 miles away people might not be affected all, I believe what the problem has always been is the people that the smoke is being dumped right on top of, or close to, or even blowing down on from a distance.

    But no matter what distance the burn is from there have certainly been times when the air is thick and bothersome.

    Doesn’t anyone remember the thickness of smoke a few years ago in and around the Mokulele? I drove across the Mokulele with smoke so thick, I’ll never forget it, the visibility was less than a mile. I don’t see how anyone could say with smoke this thick this is not a health concern.

    No one has a right, or should be given a right to continue this, please stop it now!

    This is pollution and it’s dangerous!

  7. Agricultural dust is a big problem in north Kihei. I recently bought one of those super-efficient vacuum cleaners (10 amp motor and a 3-stage filtration system, including a HEPA filter). I’ve used it twice in the last two weeks. I saved the red and brown silt- and dust-sized components (microscopically determined to be soil particles) from the canisters and HEPA filter. The total weight (used a postal scale for measurement) for my area rugs and carpets (about 400 square feet surface area) was roughly eight ounces. Two times two weeks’ accumulation of eight ounces of silt- and dust-sized components equals one pound of ag dust! That does NOT even account for all the red-and-brown dust that accumulates on other surfaces not covered with rugs and carpets.

    This stuff doesn’t just get in our lungs and sinuses, as well as our food: it finds its way into computer hard drives, DVD player drives, flat-screen monitor air vents, and the air intakes of other expensive and sensitive home and office appliances and equipment.

    Oh… and message to the advocates of using in-the-home commercially available air-filtration systems: large accumulations of soil-related dust clog the electrostatic filters of most air cleaners so quickly that filtration efficiency is totally compromised within a few hours after a clean-out occurs.

    I’m sure no one in Big Ag or State Government wants to come out an say it, but… the only way to STOP this kind of pollution is to cease the industrial activity that causes it. “Stopping” it is not practical, given Hawaii’s current political and economic situation. So it looks like we’ll have to do to Ag pollution what we do with other types of environmentally hazardous fallout: regulate it EFFICIENTLY, INTELLIGENTLY, and SENSIBLY. Those three means of regulation are currently absent in our state environmental laws and regulations that bear on Ag pollution. It’s time to change that situation.

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