Cane Burning Opposition Group Hosts Forum Tonight

June 25, 2015, 12:53 PM HST · Updated June 25, 12:53 PM
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Cane smoke along the Piilani Highway in Kihei, May 27, 2015. Courtesy photo: Stop Cane Burning.

Cane smoke along the Piʻilani Highway in Kīhei, May 27, 2015. Courtesy photo: Stop Cane Burning.

By Maui Now Staff

A group that seeks to stop cane burning on Maui announced an upcoming forum and meeting scheduled to take place tonight, Thursday, June 25 at 6:30 p.m. at the Kīhei Community Center.

The group has invited a list of speakers that includes:

  • Dr. Lorin Pang from the Maui District Health Office
  • Dr. Joe Ritter
  • Alika Atay, resident
  • Terez Amato, a parent and moderator
  • Tina Wildberger who will provide a presentation on the CleanAirMaui app

The speakers will discuss cane burning from a historical and cultural perspective, as well as its impact on public health, the environment, and Maui’s economy.

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“The corporate right to pollute and burn ends where your right to breathe begins. This is literally sickening,” said Maui scientist Dr. Joe Ritter in a press release announcement.

“People have the right to breathe clean air,” said Terez Amato, whose son experienced an asthma attack organizers described as “life-threatening,” saying the episode was triggered by the May 27 sugarcane burn in Kīhei. “Breathing is not optional,” said Amato.

Organizers say attendees will learn about cane smoke effects, how to log “bad burns” where there is ground level smoke, and will be guided through the process of filing E-reports with the State Department of Health, the County of Maui, and HC&S using the “Clean Air Maui” smartphone app.

Pāʻia resident Karen Chun formed the StopCaneBurning.org and earlier this month joined other cane burning opponents in urging the State Department of Health to suspend the burn permit issued to Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar Company.

The group has also invited the State Department of Health, the EPA and all local elected officials to attend.

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