The complaint alleges that burning sugar cane violates the Hawaii Environmental Policy Act (HRS Ch. 344) and several provisions of the state constitution.
The plaintiffs include Karen Chun, Trinette Furtado, and Brad Edwards. They are represented by attorney Lance Collins.
Sugar cane has been a mainstay of Maui agriculture since the late 1800s. From March to November, Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar Co. burns about 400 acres of sugar cane weekly, on average torching fields four days per week.
The group Stop Cane Burning formed in 2011 in response to residents’ concerns about the impact of cane burning on their health. But Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar Co. officials have said that the jobs of its 800 employees would be at risk if cane burning were disallowed.