A group of protesters held signs outside of the State Building in Wailuku on Friday on the heels of a hearing on Wednesday in which the state was able to postpone a temporary injunction on cane burning.
Protesters carried signs seeking a stop to cane burning, with one sign saying, “Our children have a right to breathe clean air.”
Maui resident Terez Amato commented in a press release saying, “Not one single man, woman or child should ever have their health destroyed so a corporation can make money while polluting our home. DoH (is) supposed to be the department of human and environmental health, not the department of corporate health,” she said.
Fellow cane smoke opponent and plaintiff, Trinette Furtado said, “Our over 2,000 members are fed up with smoke damaging their health and causing their children to lose school days.”
Stop Cane Burning founder Karen Chun also criticized the Department of Health and A&B following the latest development.
She stated that with 675 employees “A&B could just hand each employee more than $34,000 and walk away instead of incurring the millions of dollars of loss they are projecting from operating another year.”
Member Deb Mader commented saying nearly 4,000 complaints have been filed by affected citizens.
Alexander & Baldwin announced earlier this year that it plans to close Maui sugar operations and transition to a diversified agribusiness model instead.