There’s been a major breakthrough in the fight to stop sand shipments from Maui to Oahu.

Last week, Always Investigating exposed lucrative connections between sand mining on Maui and development on Oahu.

Our story prompted demonstrators to rally in front of Kahului Harbor Monday and at the county building Tuesday, calling for an immediate halt to sand excavations and barge shipments.

Viewers from the Valley Isle sent video of heavy weekend sand truck traffic coming and going near the Maui Lani excavation and stockpile sites.

In response to our story, the county sent letters to the companies involved to tell them they may be engaged in an unpermitted practice, while the companies say they thought their grading permits covered all activity.

Maui County Mayor Alan Arakawa has also asked the county council to start working on a moratorium on exports, but the county council said it may instead explore limiting sand mining volume.

Council member Robert Carroll told Always Investigating Thursday that “a moratorium might be legally difficult to pass,” so they might look at cutting back how much sand is excavated and how often.

Meanwhile, HC&D has paused most work at Maui Lani while it and the county review what’s allowed under current grading permits and whether other permits are required.

HC&D president Wade Wakayama told us Thursday the company has “no plans for further sand shipments from Maui to Oahu.”