Every day, I’m scouring the Internet for land use and environmental news from around the state and around the world that means something for us here in Hawaii. Noteworthy today: a windmill deal on Oahu, rock and hedge removal on Maui and a dead seal on Kauai.

  • Exciting news: A deal between Hawaiian Electric Company and a wind facility in Kahuku has been approved and could provide power to nearly 8,000 homes starting in early 2011, the Honolulu Advertiser reports.
  • Maui Land and Pineapple Co. shareholders voted Thursday to move forward with two dramatic steps to get the company through its debt crisis, the Maui News reports. Will it work?
  • Also from Maui: The county says it will do more to ensure safe passage by removing rocks and hedges from private property fronting roads. Warning letters have gone out to 350 homeowners.
  • This is troubling: The state has levied more than $400,000 in fines against the city and the operator of the Waimanalo Gulch Sanitary Landfill for permit violations, specifically a failure to stabilize part of the landfill. That might make next week’s hearing for an expansion sort of awkward.
  • Another endangered monk seal was found dead on Kauai. Two seals were shot last year, but there was no mention of foul play in today’s story in The Garden Island.
  • Hard to imagine this happening in Hawaii: The North Dakota Supreme Court ruled Thursday that a Minnesota nonprofit that keeps duck habitat must sell its 949 acres because a state law prohibits corporations from conserving farm or ranch land without the governor’s explicit approval.
  • The Associated Press reports today that the oil leaking into the Gulf of Mexico may be “gone.” Some say that rather than washing ashore, the oil could settle on ocean floor and hurt the surrounding ecosystem for decades. Uh oh.
  • The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Thursday announced plans to tighten controls on global-warming-causing air pollution from power plants, factories and refineries.

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