Take Action for East Maui Streams!

This action has now finished.

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Tell the state: we need a FAIR & HONEST Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the proposed A&B East Maui Stream lease.

Use the form below to submit your letter by Friday, March 10th.

Background Information

Why Does A&B need an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) to divert East Maui streams?

  • Alexander & Baldwin (A&B) has requested a 30-year Water Lease from the HI State Board of Land and Natural Resources (BLNR).
  • The lease application, if approved as is, would give A&B the right to continue to divert East Maui streams flowing through four License areas on public lands, from Honopou to Nahiku.
  • Before a lease like this can be approved, BLNR requires an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) be commissioned.
  • The EIS is supposed to document all the ways the lease proposal could impact natural or cultural resources, and whether these impacts can be mitigated.
  • The BLNR then uses the EIS to determine whether or not to approve a lease.
Who should prepare the EIS?
  •  A&B has hired a consultant to prepare the EIS, but the leases are awarded through public bidding, and could theoretically, go to another bidder.
  • We can’t count on the EIS to have an impartial view if A&B hires, pays for, and directs the consultants who prepare this document.

Is the lease bidding process really fair, open and legitimate if A&B is the only bidder to have prepared an EIS?

  • With A&B in charge of the EIS process, the public cannot trust that the EIS findings will be complete because the consultant is first and foremost accountable to the entity that pays its bills, which is A&B.
  • Our communities have waited over 20 years for an EIS that discusses the real impacts of the longtime East Maui stream diversions. Let’s get it right!
  • We want the EIS to be as thorough as possible so that the BLNR will have adequate information to make a decision on whether to approve a lease for this area and, if so, what types of limitations or alternative options to a 30 year lease should be considered.

Send your letter to the Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) staff asking them to direct the preparation of this EIS.

  • This will ensure that core parts of the EIS – the definition of the current environment and the identification of alternatives – be comprehensive and encompass all the possible outcomes for the management of these waters and areas.
  • This will also help instill trust that the completed EIS will be impartial and independent of A&B’s wants.
  • Your letter will be sent to DLNR, A&B and their consultant company Wilson Okamoto Corporation. You letter both requests a change to the process as well as gives comments on what topics must be covered in the EIS, no matter who writes it.
The EIS Preparation Notice for the proposed Water Lease is available at: http://bit.ly/2m55pZn
Comments on the EIS Preparation Notice are due by Friday, March 10, 2017.

Report on Sierra Club Maui’s 2017 Annual Meeting

Wow! This year’s Annual Meeting (February 25th) was a blast with over 80 people in attendance to enjoy our fantastic panel and pot luck at Kaunoa Senior Center in Spreckelsville.

The meeting began with a pule by Catholic Deacon Stan Franco, who also received this year’s Onipa’a Award for his decades of work to bring affordable housing to Maui. Kai Nishiki and Ananda Stone received our M?lama Kahakai award for their dedication to protecting Maui’s coasts and defending public access to our beaches and trails. After lunch, House Representative Kaniela Ing (South Maui – 11th District) and Sierra Club of Hawai’i Executive Director Marti Townsend gave a quick but thorough update on the status of important bills in the legislature and how attendees could help.

Our main event for the day was the introduction of our new coalition campaign – Hukilike No Maui: Together for Maui, which Sierra Club Maui has been working to build for many months.

Lehua Simon introduced the Hukilike Coalition to our attendees with a wonderful presentation. Then, we hosted a panel discussion to hear from specialists from each sector of our coalition – Dale Bonar and Kai Nishiki for Conservation and Preservation, Lawrence Carnicelli and Cassandra JL Abdul for Affordable Housing, and Evan Ryan and Bob King for Agriculture. Each panelist made excellent ideas for the former cane lands and what is needed in order for us to come together and work as one community. Maui residents: check for screenings of the panel discussion on Akak?.

We then had a breakout session so that all our attendees could give us their mana’o about the sugar cane lands and ideas. For over an hour, everyone talked and debated about what they wanted to see in Central Maui and the obstacles that are in the way. Although this will surely be only the first of many community discussions, the ideas that came from it were fantastic. Learn more about the Hukilike No Maui Coalition and see the notes from the breakout session at www.togetherformaui.org

We ended the meeting with a circle up to reflect on the day and give thanks as Lehua sang a beautiful closing pule.

BIG MAHALO to Tim Wolfe of Akamai Productions for recording the meeting, Geoff Moore of Silver Maui Moon Maui (www.silvermoonmaui.com) for designing the Hukilike No Maui logo and outreach poster, and to Flatbread Company, Mana Foods and Whole Foods Market for donating food and drinks for our potluck lunch. The food was ono!

Help Save Makena!

UPDATE: Temporary Success!

Let’s Keep the Momentum Going!

Mahalo to everyone who asked the Planning Commission to reject the Final Environmental Assessment (FEA) for 47 acre Makena Resort project. In all, there were:

  • 45+ people who sent in letters to the Planning Commission asking them to reject the FEA,
  • 30+ people who came out on January 10th to testify against the FEA,
  • 925+ people who signed the petition so far.

The Planning Commission has voted to defer their vote on whether to accept or reject this FEA, so it’s still possible they may accept it in the future. We’ll keep you posted as new developments occur! The Planning Commission will likely be re-hearing this issue within the next 3-6 months.

If you haven’t already signed the petition to the Planning Commission asking for a more thorough Environmental Impact Statement study to be done, click here to add your name.

 

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Sign the Petition & Testify at January 10th Planning Commission Meeting

BACKGROUND
On Tuesday, January 10th, the Maui Planning Commission will decide whether to approve the Makena Development Resort’s Final Environmental Assessment (FEA), which claims the 47 acre development will have NO significant impact on the area, despite the fact that the site is full of environmental and cultural treasures. In addition, the 47 acre development is very clearly just one small part of a much larger 1,800 development project that is being planned for Makena by the land owners.

We want the Planning Commission to REJECT this Final Environmental Assessment for the 47 acre project and instead require a much more thorough Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) be done for the entire 1,800 acres. An EIS will examine 1) exactly how this project will negatively impact the surrounding environment, and 2) how to mitigate these impacts before any final development plans are put in place and construction starts.

HOW YOU CAN HELP

1) Click here to sign the petition to the Planning Commission.

2) Email the Planning Commission by Monday the 9th asking them to reject the Final Environmental Assessment and instead require an Environmental Impact Statement. Make sure to say you are writing about item C-1 on the Maui Planning Commission January 10, 2017 agenda. Send your email to planning@mauicounty.gov

3) Testify in person at the Planning Commission meeting – Tuesday the 10th at 9 am in the Planning Department Conference Room, First Floor – 250 South High Street, Wailuku. They need to hear the voices of Makena residents and how building at Makena Landing will negatively affect families, cultural rights and access, and our environment. Please be RESPECTFUL of the Planning Commissioners. They are volunteers who are giving their time for the community.

 

Report on Land Board’s East Maui Permits Decision

By Lucienne de Naie, Maui Group Conservation Committee Chair

December 15, 2016

The tug of war over East Maui stream waters sends a clear message: the state and counties need a post-plantation, 21st century water policy. This is the only way to provide what everyone wants: a reliable water supply, fairly distributed, and managed as a real Public Trust resource.

On December 9th, East Maui taro farmers, residents, and statewide supporters rallied inside and outside a Board of Land and Natural Resource (BLNR) hearing in Honolulu, to deliver just that message. The State’s “business as usual” water policies were not working to provide reliable public water supplies and create a new agricultural future for all of Maui.

Over 40 people testified, asking the BLNR to not automatically rubber stamp the Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar (HC&S) request to “holdover” or renew annual Revocable Permits that have allowed over 60 billion gallons a year of stream water to be diverted from state lands for many decades. Testifiers wanted the Board to demand clear proof of how much stream water the former plantation would actually need in 2017, now that it had ceased sugar operations.

The O’ahu location meant only a handful of East Maui residents were able to attend in person, but their story was compelling: generations struggling to have enough water to practice traditional farming and gathering and pass on their culture. Many East Maui testifiers simply asked that the water be fairly shared, while supporting sufficient water for Upcountry residents, farmers and ranchers relying on the East Maui streams. Sierra Club Maui has also long supported the water needs of Upcountry Maui residents, farmers and ranchers. Maui Group advocated for expanded Upcountry reservoir capacity to increase water security, and for Maui County to repair the aged Waikamoi flume system that lost 40% of the stream water it transported to upcountry system users (accomplished in 2015.)

Maui Group also strongly supports continued agricultural use of the former HC&S sugar lands and employment opportunities for former HC&S workers. Like the other testifiers, Sierra Club wanted the Board to make sure that there was actual farming planned for 2017, that sustainable farming practices would be used to promote water efficiency and the needs of traditional farmers and gatherers would be fully met as we move forward into Maui’s new agricultural future. Maui Group has testified for years that improved efficiency in the HC&S and Upcountry water systems would allow for more water to be shared by plantation lands, rural residents, and farming communities across the island.

Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar has said that seventeen percent (5,100 acres) of its 30,000 acres of land currently served by East Maui stream water will convert to cattle grazing and a County ag park in 2017. Future plans, based upon a map submitted to the State Water Commission in October of this year, call for possible bio-energy crops, a dairy, seed crops and large leased areas. The problem is, there currently is no timeline for those future uses and no hard data on how much water will be needed when. This made the BLNR decision tough.

After over 6 hours of public testimony, an Executive Session, and extensive board member discussions, the BLNR approved HC&S’s revocable permits, with conditions. Conditions included: capping extraction from East Maui streams at 80 million gallons per day (mgd) [HC&S’s goal was 116 mgd], supporting a July 2016 Water Commission order mandating fully restored stream flow in 14 East Maui taro growing streams, adding Honomanu Stream to the list of streams to be restored, and requiring removal of all unused diversion structures impeding the health of the native stream species.

The BLNR’s ruling was a compromise. It provides the community with new tools to protect some streams and gives HC&S a chance to prove its new farming plans are real. The imposition of a cap shows that community concerns were heard.

The Sierra Club of Hawai’i applauds Land Board members Sam Ohu Gon III and Keone Downing who recognized that there is inadequate information on streamflow and water use to make an informed decision, and therefore, voted against the permit renewal.

We will continue to stand with the East Maui community and the people of Maui to support water policies that are fair for all and follow our laws.

Nov/Dec 2016: SC Maui in the News

Sierra Club Maui Press Clippings

Drinking Water Well Protection on Maui

  • Sierra Club Maui Executive Committee member Lucienne de Naie was invited on Hawai’i Public Radio’s The Conversation to discuss drinking water well protection on Maui. Listen to the program here.

East Maui Streams Permits at the Board of Land & Natural Resources

DAPL Solidarity Protest

Kihei Short Study

 

 

Press Release: Maui Stands With Standing Rock!

November 15, 2016

Sierra Club Maui Rallies Against the Dakota Access Pipeline

Calls on First Hawaiian Bank’s Owner to Pull its Financial Support from the Environmentally Devastating Project

On November 15th, over 100 Maui residents joined together to demand an end to the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline. The protest rally, which is organized by the Sierra Club Maui Group and its allies, was part of an international day of action that targeted decision makers and stakeholders who have the power to stop the construction.  The Maui rally was held in front of the First Hawaiian Bank’s Kahului Branch on Ka’ahumanu Avenue to highlight First Hawaiian Bank’s involvement in the building of the pipeline. First Hawaiian Bank is 80% owned by the French multinational bank BNP Paribas (1), which has loaned over $400 million to the companies building the pipeline (2).

“The only reason that projects like the Dakota Access pipeline are able to be built is because banks provide the funding. We shouldn’t be building new infrastructure that is both environmentally and culturally devastating, and banks have the power to put the brakes on these bad projects,” said Adriane Raff Corwin, Sierra Club Maui Group Coordinator. “If banks invest in projects that increase our reliance on fossil fuels, have the potential to contaminate precious water resources, and utterly disregard native peoples’ culture and history, then they are going to hear from us.”

Sierra Club of Hawai’i and Sierra Club Maui Group are asking First Hawaiian Bank customers to close their accounts with the bank. “Every person who closes their First Hawaiian Bank account is sending the message to its majority shareholder BNP Paribas that we won’t let you use our money to invest in projects that further global warming. If we stick together, we can force big banks to put people and the environment over profit,” said Marti Townsend, Director of the Sierra Club of Hawai’i. In a show of force throughout Hawai’i, there will be an identical protest rally outside the downtown Honolulu branch of First Hawaiian Bank on O’ahu at the same date and time.

 

Background

In 2014, Energy Transfer Partners and Dakota Access proposed a 1,168-mile pipeline, which is just seven miles shorter than the now-rejected Keystone XL pipeline. In August 2016, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers granted the general permit that allowed construction to begin (using a little-known loophole called Nationwide Permit 12, which allows the process to be fast-tracked without adequate environmental review, tribal consultation, or public input). This pipeline, called “Dakota Access,” would carry fracked crude oil through North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa, and Illinois, and cut through communities, farms, sensitive natural areas, wildlife habitat, tribal lands, and the ancestral lands of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe (the Tribe is part of the Sioux nation).

Not only would this pipeline threaten sacred sites and culturally important landscapes, it would also cross under the Missouri River just upstream of the Tribe’s drinking water supply, where a spill would constitute a serious threat to the Tribe’s culture and way of life. The Standing Rock Sioux have been protesting the pipeline in peaceful prayer camps since April, and thousands of supporters have joined them since the pipeline was approved, including unprecedented support from more than 200 other indigenous nations. This fracked oil pipeline, which was approved without adequate environmental reviews or public and tribal consultation, is bad for communities, water, wildlife, and our climate.

On September 9, in a partial victory, the federal government halted construction of the pipeline in the area bordering or under Lake Oahe near the Tribe’s lands until federal agencies can review whether the prior permitting decisions were appropriate. While construction is halted on a portion of the project, the Obama administration should finish the job and reject this dirty and dangerous pipeline once and for all.

We do not want, nor do we need, an expansion of fossil fuel infrastructure. We have the technology and ability to continue and complete our transition to 100 percent clean renewable energy and leave dirty fuels like Bakken crude oil where they belong – in the ground.

 

References

  1. Ownership of First Hawaiian Bank – https://www.fhb.com/en/inside-fhb/
  2. BNP Paribas’ investment in Dakota Access – http://www.foodandwaterwatch.org/news/who’s-banking-dakota-access-pipeline , http://www.democracynow.org/2016/9/6/whos_investing_in_the_dakota_access

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Thanks for a Great 40th Anniversary Party!

The Sierra Club Maui Group had a fantastic anniversary party on October 1st, with over 100 people in attendance! Everyone enjoyed delicious food donated by Mana Foods, Flatbread Company, Maui Coffee Roasters, and Down to Earth as musician Richard Dancil and DJ The DiF eXperience entertained.

40th anniversary cake

The community came out to ensure our 2016 Environmental Champions award winners Susan Bradford, the late Alex Bode, Healoha Carmichael, Karen Chun, Lance Collins, Oliver Dukelow, Lezley Jacintho, Kathy Kaohu, and Tiare Lawrence were thoroughly recognized and cherished for their work to protect Maui’s environment and people.

Sierra Club Maui Group was surprised and honored when Maui County Councilperson Don Guzman presented Sierra Club Maui’s executive committee with a framed copy of a resolution from the County Council, “extend[ing] its congratulations to Sierra Club Maui on the 40th anniversary of serving as a voice and advocate for Maui’s cherished environment and precious resources.” This recognition from the County Council served as icing on the cake at a celebration of 40 years of Sierra Club Maui Group’s important achievements in environmental conservation and cultural preservation. Sierra Club Maui Group is gearing up to continue this important work for decades to come!

40th anniversary food Colin and Daniel at 40th anniversary 40th anniversary hanging outTalking to Attendees
Trinette Adriane Lucienne