East Maui Streams Update: BLNR Did it AGAIN

Today, November 9, 2017, the State’s Board of Land and Natural Resources (BLNR) voted 5-0 to once again renew Alexander & Baldwin and East Maui Irrigation, Co.ʻs 1 year revocable permits for 2018, which allow them to take up to 80 million gallons of water a day from East Mauiʻs streams. The five members present were Keone Downing, Stan Roehrig, Thomas Oi, Suzanne Case, and Chris Yuen.

The Land Board virtually ignored the testimony of dozens of people who gave reason after reason for why these leases should not be renewed, including that A&B has shown no immediate need for access to this water. While Member Roehrig voiced that the water take should be limited to 50 mgd, the rest of the members ignored this. They did add 2 new conditions to the permit: requirement of clean up of debris around the stream diversions and that the permits must be made consistent with the Interim Instream Flow Standard (IIFS), which is currently being deliberated on and will be set by the Stateʻs Commission on Water Resources Management.

A&B has not provided the information necessary to justify authorizing a draw of 80 million gallons of water from the public. That water belongs in the streams. When actual farm plans are developed, new petitions for water that include actual data can be applied for from the Water Commission. Until then, the water belongs in the streams.

This is disappointing news, but WE WILL NOT GIVE UP. A&B does not have a right to East Maui’s streams, and we will keep fighting to change this.




Article in Civil Beat on the decision, featuring interview with Sierra Club Maui Executive Committee member Lucienne De Naie


Take Action: No More Rubber Stamp for A&B to Take East Maui Streams Water

Take Action by Wednesday, November 8th, 2017!

Once again, A&B is trying to get a one-year permit to continue diverting water from East Maui streams, with no oversight and no analysis of how these diversions continue to hurt East Maui’s residents and environment.

Click here to submit your testimony against any rubber-stamping of these permits. [link deactivated because action finished]

The Board of Land and Natural Resources is meeting Thursday morning on O’ahu – so submit your testimony by Wednesday!

If you’re on O’ahu, you can testify in person at the BLNR meeting: Thursday, Nov. 9th at 9 am, 1151 Punchbowl, Room #132

In December 2016, the BLNR once again granted Alexander & Baldwin (A&B) and East Maui Irrigation (EMI) four revocable permits to continue diverting East Maui streams, with stipulations that included: capping the amount of water A&B will be allowed to extract from the East Maui ecosystem at 80 million gallons per day (down from the previous 160 million gallons per day), enforcing the July 2016 mandate that A&B fully restore stream flow in seven East Maui streams vital for taro farming, as well as adding Honomanu Stream to the list of the streams to be restored, and removing all structures adversely affecting the health of native stream species in the ecosystem.

In the past year, A&B hasn’t shown in any way that it needs this access to 80 million gallons of stream water a day. There is no reason they should get a free pass and have these permits renewed AGAIN. Instead, the BLNR should deny these permits and A&B should be required to submit an Environmental Impact Statement as soon as possible if it wants the BLNR to consider allowing it any stream water in the future.

Submit a quick testimony letter to BLNR asking them to reject the renewal of A&B’s permits. Go to: https://mauisierraclub.org/campaigns/east-maui-streams/

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