Community voices concerns about sand mining, exporting on Maui

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A meeting on Maui called for more protections of sand where iwi is known to be buried in addition to a temporary ban on sand exports from the Valley Isle.

Always Investigating exposed the lucrative connections between sand mining on Maui and shipments to Oahu for use in concrete construction including Honolulu’s rail project.

The mayor called for a stop to the exports, but concerned community members said the central Maui dunes should be protected from excavation permits, even if the sand is kept on island.

“The problem is in the permit. If they ask for cubic foot and they don’t say where it’s coming from or how it’s being taken, it allows a developer not to be accountable for how much they reduce a hill,” said Johanna Kamaunu of the Maui-Lanai Burial Council.

“A lot of it is about the concern of the moving of the iwi. A lot of these areas are inundated with burials from different parts of our history,” said Maui resident Kaniloa Kamaunu.

The mayor’s office says the county is not taking additional action regarding the grading permit.

HC&D has paused mining sand at the Maui Lani Development to resolve permit issues.

The county council vice chair says his office is researching for a bill to control or limit the taking of sand from Maui.

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