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The Present and Future of Clean Maui Air

EPA does not require restrictions on man-made pollutants on Maui.
June 15, 2012

The Present and Future of Clean Maui Air

Maui Homes

By Mark Harbison

The subject of air quality at Haleakala National Park has come up recently, and most people from the mainland might laugh, considering how much cleaner the air is in the middle of the Pacific than in most other states, but we do have a volcano next door, on the Big Island, and there are some man-made emissions too. The beauty of the island influences us in many ways you might not expect. For example, Maui homes are often smaller than those on the mainland, but that's because we don't have to hole up inside under heaps of snow in the winter months. Cabin fever isn't an issue when the beautiful sky and ocean beckons us outside. Environmental health is crucial here.

The question on the table with the EPA was whether to impose restrictions on man-made pollution since we can't control or predict vog from the volcano. Their assessment concluded that the main source of "visibility impairment" comes from the volcanic activity at Kilauea. They are interested in air quality and visibility of Haleakala National Park and Hawaii Volcanoes National Park because the Clean Air Act requires air quality protection plans for national parks and wilderness areas in the U.S. Fortunately, everyone understands that trying to keep the air clear around an active volcano is silly, but here on Maui, we can't claim that vog is the only factor impacting our air.

Most man-made air pollutants on Maui come from Maui Electric Co.'s coal-fired generators, agricultural burning and emissions from vehicles, aircraft, and ships. The EPA did not find it necessary to implement pollution controls for Maui through 2018, but Maui-based environmental groups have pointed to agricultural burning as significant. It's true, burning sugar cane does produce big clouds of smoke, and isn't great for visibility or health.

According to the EPA, however, the future is looking good. Based on the existing requirements under the Clean Air Act, Maui will see a net reduction of man-made emissions of sulfur dioxide as the county works toward its goal of getting 70 percent of energy from renewable sources. Far less fuel will need to be burned at the power plants, and what they burn should be cleaner. They also pointed out that emissions from the downtown area blow away from Haleakala National Park, and shouldn't impact visibility. Considering one of the plants is in the Ma'alaea area, the long-term reduction in pollutants should be great news to those who want a Ma'alaea condo or home, as well as current property owners in that location.

If you are interested in learning more about the proposed Hawaii Regional Haze Federal Implementation Plan, visit www.epa.gov. For more information, call the EPA's Region 9 Air Planning Office at (415) 947-4107.

Blogs for June 2012

Maui Niu Festival at the Grand Wailea

Posted on June 29, 2012
Maui Niu Festival at the Grand Wailea

By Mark Harbison

Looking for an interesting and diverting event to take your mind off your worries? There are always interesting events on Maui, and this one is located at the Grand Wailea Hotel, which is situated on an amazingly beautiful Wailea beachfront property that… Continue Reading

Rotary Club Scholarship Awards to Maui Students

Posted on June 22, 2012
Rotary Club Scholarship Awards to Maui Students

By Mark Harbison

Outside our work as Maui real estate agents, we are active in the Kihei-Wailea Rotary Club, and it's nice to hear what the other chapters around the island are accomplishing for all the various communities here. Maui is a small island, and… Continue Reading

The Present and Future of Clean Maui Air

Posted on June 15, 2012
The Present and Future of Clean Maui Air

By Mark Harbison

The subject of air quality at Haleakala National Park has come up recently, and most people from the mainland might laugh, considering how much cleaner the air is in the middle of the Pacific than in most other states, but we… Continue Reading

New Maui Land and Property Developments

Posted on June 08, 2012
New Maui Land and Property Developments

By Mark Harbison

When you consider a real estate investment, especially if you plan to live in it, getting a sense of future developments is always important. Things change, and when you take as big a step as buying a home or condo on Maui, an… Continue Reading

South Maui Triathlon Approaches

Posted on June 01, 2012
South Maui Triathlon Approaches

By Mark Harbison

The South Maui Triathlon is back this year, and scheduled for Sunday, June 10th in gorgeous Wailea. Participants will get a colorful t-shirt along with a complimentary massage, and finishers will be awarded a medallion. There will also be awards for three overall athletes, both… Continue Reading

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Mark and Lisa

Mark A Harbison
R(B) (GRI) (CIPS) (TRC)

Mark@RealEstateMauiHawaii.com

(808) 283-3785

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