Judge favors protecting sand on Maui

Photo: Iwi Protectors

A judge ordered a preliminary injunction Wednesday to protect Valley Isle sand dunes from being mined for export and construction, but allows some work at Maui Lani to continue if properly supervised.

Always Investigating had previously reported on the sand being mined for years to be shipped off-island to be used for things like concrete for Honolulu rail.

The community group Malama Kakanilua sued alleging historic preservation laws were being violated putting iwi burials at risk.

After six weeks of hearings, a Maui judge on Wednesday issued an order that no ground can be disturbed at the Maui Lani development’s Phase 9 without extensive outside oversight and must give observers ample advance notice of work.

“He also said that the potential for human remains to be extracted from the sand dune and taken off site and put into the cement making process would be something of the gravest concern, and constitutes grave threat of irreparable harm,” said attorney Lance Collins.

Maui Lani partners said in a statement they will continue to fully comply with archaeological monitoring and adds the ruling allows us to proceed with permitted activities on the property.

The case is expected to continue in litigation for as long as a year or more.

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