Judge sides with Hawaii to block challenge to mosquito release plan

Candice Cheung,  Courthouse News Service,  2024.

A planned program to save endemic Hawaiian birds from avian malaria by releasing thousands of biopesticide mosquitoes into Maui’s rainforest will go on, despite an attempt by an environmental nonprofit to block the project.First Circuit Court Judge John Tonaki ruled Tuesday in favor of the state of Hawaii, its Department of Land and Natural Resources and conservationists to block a lawsuit claiming the state agency did not complete a proper environmental evaluation of program aimed at curbing mosquito population to prevent them from spreading avian malaria.“This is a victory for our endangered forest birds who some native Hawaiians consider their ancestors,” Dawn Chang, chair of the state’s Board of Land and Natural Resources said in a statement. “The HEPA is an important tool that enables decisionmakers to assess environmental impacts — not the sword by which misinformation kills a project, aimed at saving native species.”

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