Maui County Council discusses sand-mining moratorium

Photo: Kai Nishiki

The Maui County Council is taking steps on a sand mining moratorium.

This follows an Always Investigating report that revealed how Central Maui dune sand was excavated during development, barged to Oahu and used for major construction projects like Honolulu rail.

Maui County Mayor Alan Arakawa called for a stop.

A county council committee got discussions underway on possible legislation to start with a two-year pause.

“I think there’s recognition that this being a complex issue needs more discussion, and that would allow time and as long as it didn’t impinge commercial activities, then it sounded like our councilors were willing to consider that,” said Rob Parsons, Maui County environmental coordinator.

The matter will be heard again in a couple of weeks.

Excavating is on hold while grading permit requirements are reviewed, and concrete company HC&D has voluntarily stopped exporting sand meanwhile, instead bringing in raw materials from Canada.

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