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Health department says cane burning closely monitored

April 18, 2013
The Maui Weekly

The Maui News - In response to public concern over cane burning, the state Department of Health recently revised its agricultural burn permit requirements to provide more clarity and enforceability and has brought back an air quality monitoring station in Pa'ia, a state health official said last week.

Gary Gill, deputy director of the state Department of Health's Environmental Health Administration, said he "cannot ban cane burning;" it is the state Legislature that makes the laws. His department can keep an eye on agricultural burning and make sure that no one entity burns on "no burn days," generally declared when there is widespread haze over an island, and that those who burn meet permit requirements.

"It's very closely monitored," Gill said.

A department document states that it has been monitoring air quality on Maui since 1971 and that the air quality continues to meet the National Ambient Air Quality Standards.

For more information on cane burning or to file a complaint, the Health Department recommends:

Calling the Health Department Maui office at 984-8234;

Calling the Health Department's Honolulu office at (808) 586-4200;

Emailing complaints to

The public may view data from Maui's air quality monitoring stations online at



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