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Wednesday, November 30, 2022
Environmental Harm and Blasting Hazards Surrounding The Paeahu Solar Project in Kihei
By News Release @ 7:50 PM :: 1647 Views :: Maui County, Energy

Environmental Harm and Blasting Hazards Surrounding The Paeahu Solar Project in Kihei, Maui

HE ALIʻI KA ʻĀINA; HE KAUWĀ KE KANAKA; “The land is a chief; man is its servant”

News Release from Pono Power Coalition

(Kihei, Maui) November 30, 2022---- Safe Solar Projects, a project of Pono Power Coalition, is an initiative led by a group of concerned citizens in the South Maui area. The Pono Power Coalition understands the urgency and the need for clean energy, including solar, to combat climate change. However, we also believe that the development of any large utility-scale power plant, even solar, should not endanger its surrounding environment or community. Development of the Paeahu solar project will require blasting – but even the developer does not know how much.

Blasting in construction refers to the process of using explosive substances, or other methods such as pressure from gas to decimate rock surfaces and materials. Fly rock, noise, toxic fumes and damage to the foundations of neighboring structures are major concerns. Blasting can impact the root structures of native forests so that even if the upper part of a tree is spared, its support system is lost. Underground water flows can be polluted. Although strictly regulated for federal projects, blasting is nearly unregulated at the State and local level.

Thoughtful planning and seismic monitoring are necessary to mitigating harms from blasting. The Paeahu project’s plans do not disclose how much or where blasting will occur. The community deserves to know in advance before the project is given a green light by the Maui Planning Commission to proceed.  “How can the Maui Planning Commission determine that the public will be protected from the deleterious effects of this power plant if the developer itself does not disclose how much blasting will be done?” questions Pono Power Coalition spokesperson Dr. Scott Young.

Providing a voice for the community, the Pono Power Coalition is one of two intervenors in the Maui Planning Commission’s consideration of Paeahu Solar, LLC’s (Innergex Renewables) applications for a special use permit and Phase II development approval. The evidentiary hearing is expected to be held throughout December 2022, with a final Maui Planning Commission decision early 2023. To learn about this project or get involved, please visit:

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Related: Builder Cancels DHHL Barbers Point Solar Project


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