Judge rules on stream water division permits

Published: Jan. 20, 2016 at 9:39 AM HST
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HONOLULU (AP) - An Oahu judge has invalidated a state practice of issuing permits to Alexander & Baldwin to divert millions of gallons of irrigation water daily from streams for its Maui sugar operations.

Judge Rhonda Nishimura ruled Jan. 8 that the state Department of Land and Natural Resources' use of the one-year revocable permits violated state law and was only meant to be temporary. The permits have been extended annually for 13 years without an official environmental review.

The ruling affects streams and tributaries from Nahiku to Huelo. Alexander & Baldwin has drawn from the waterways to irrigate 36,000 acres of sugar cane land and provide water to the county for 36,000 residents and farmers.

Alexander & Baldwin has asked the judge to reconsider her decision.

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