February 10, 2022   

Waldorf Astoria Resort sued for "Harmful" Lighting

Conservation groups claim that lighting at a luxury Maui resort is killing seabirds


MAUI, HAWAII -- Conservation Council for Hawaii (CCH) and Center for Biological Diversity is accusing the Grand Wailea Maui, a Waldorf Astoria Resort, for violating the Endangered Species Act and is asking a U.S. court to "issue appropriate injunctive relief."

lawsuit pic.pngThe conservation groups claim that bright lights at the Grand Wailea attract Hawaiian seabirds, disorienting the birds and causing them to circle the lights until they fall to the ground from exhaustion or strike buildings or other features on the property. The groups claim that the lighting fixtures used at the Grand Wailea that are particularly harmful to seabirds are unshielded spotlights, mercury vapor and metal halide lights, lighting in large pools, and beachfront tree and path lights.

While there are multiple sources of bright light on Maui, the groups claim that Grand Wailea’s property stands out among all hotels as a "high-take zone."

According to the lawsuit, CCH has successfully challenged environmentally harmful lighting in the past. The group explains that in 2019, CCH filed a lawsuit against the County of Maui for implementing a project to replace high pressure sodium streetlights with LED fixtures without first analyzing the impacts of the LED lights on threatened and endangered wildlife, including the Hawaiian petrel, as required by the Hawaii Environmental Policy Act. That led to the county dimming the lights as part of the resolution.

Co-Plaintiff, the Center for Biological Diversity, is no stranger to litigation. The nonprofit organization has been a party to over 125 new lawsuits filed in U.S. courts since February 2021.

Earthjustice is cited numerous times in the television news report above. Earthjustice is the legal firm representing the Plaintiffs


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