Farm Stand Water Rules Prompt Community Meeting
By Sonia Isotov
Advocacy group Maui Tomorrow will host a community meeting at 6 p.m., Tuesday, September 13th, at Kaunoa Senior Center in Spreckelsville to discuss recent enforcement of county chlorinated water requirements at local farm stands.
The community meeting was spurred by events last month at Laulima Farm Stand in Kipahulu whereby the Hawaii State Department of Water (DOH) required that water used on the premises was to be supplied by the County of Maui water system, which is unavailable in much of East Maui. Floors were to be washed and toilets flushed only with county water. Maui Tomorrow reported in its electronic newsletter that Laulima Farm Stand was asked to use county chlorinated water from Kipahulu Community Kitchen or bottled water to make smoothies instead.
Without chlorinated county water, under new interpretation of old rules by Maui DOH, nothing can be served in remote, off-the-county waterline areas, which is where agriculture and farm stands are encouraged and zoned.
The fear from small farmers and other agricultural businesses, especially roadside stands in East Maui and elsewhere, is that this could potentially put organic farmers and stand workers out of jobs.
Dr. Lorrin Pang and Patti Kitkowski of the state Department of Health and Hawaii State Representative Gil Keith-Agaran, along with county representatives, will be present to lead the discussions.