Group Opposed to Cane Burning Plans Protest

September 14, 2012, 2:00 PM HST · Updated September 14, 2:53 PM
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Cane smoke, Maui Now photo.

By Maui Now Staff

A group of Maui residents opposed to cane burning have organized a sign waving event to raise awareness about their plight.

Event organizers say they also have petitions that they plan to deliver to Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar Company and the state Department of Health.

The petitions, organizers say, ask that HC&S and the DOH stop allowing cane smoke in areas accessible to the public.

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The sign waving event is set for 10 a.m. on Saturday, September 29, 10 a.m. at the corner of Mokulele and Dairy Road near the park and ride lot.

Event organizer, Karen Chun said the particles from agricultural smoke are damaging to heart and lung health.

Fellow organizer Kevin Jackson claims exceptions to requirements relating to smoke impacts have made burn permits currently in place “toothless.”

In reference to cane burning, HC&S states on its website:

“Farming is a challenging business, and we are continuously looking at ways to reduce the impacts of our operations – noise, dust and smoke – which are an inevitable part of the farming operation. We continue to be focused on the long-term future of HC&S, determined to keep our 36,000 acres in active cultivation, and our 800 workers employed.

The company offers updated information on harvesting and burn schedules via a recorded message  available at (808) 877-6963, and also via a web-based map online at: Cane Burning Schedule Map.

Organizers of the sign waving event have also set up a website where they are gathering online complaints at:  stopcaneburning.org.  The intent, they say, is to ensure that the 2013 Burn Permit has all the data included.

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