Here’s an interestingly timed development regarding the dispute over Alexander & Baldwin and water rights in East Maui.

According to a press release late Thursday, the state Board of Land and Natural Resources has issued an order directing A&B and subsidiary East Maui Irrigation Company to “commence the environmental review process in support of A&B’s application for a lease of water from the license areas of Honomanu, Keana, Huelo and Nahiku.”

There is currently a bill before the Hawaii Legislature, House Bill 2501, which you may have heard about. Here’s some information about that.

Meanwhile, the press release says this:

Within sixty (60) days A&B must provide the BLNR a scope of work for preparation of an environmental assessment or an environmental impact statement. The scope of work should distinguish those portions that can be undertaken prior to the Commission on Water Resource Management’s (CWRM) final decision on petitions to amend interim instream flow standards (IIFS) in east Maui from those that require a decision from CWRM prior to completion. Accompanying the scope of work should be a tentative schedule for commencement and completion of the various portions of the scope of work.

The BLNR deferred decision making on Na Moku’s Motion to “Establish Scope of Reconvened Contested Case Proceedings,” says the press release.

I am quoting directly. It’s complicated, but very, very important.

A&B's Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar Co. in Puunene was shuttered this year.
A&B’s Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar Co. in Puunene is to be shuttered this year. Chad Blair/Civil Beat

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