Department of Agriculture Developing New Pesticides Use Guidelines

Following Kauai Mayor Bernard P. Carvalho, Jr.’s veto Thursday (Oct. 31) of county Bill 2491 (Relating to Pesticides and Genetically Modified Organisms), the state Department of Agriculture reaffirmed the Mayor’s assessment that complicated legal issues and practical enforcement and implementation details must be taken into consideration to effectively address community’s concerns.

“The Department of Agriculture is in the process of implementing guidelines for companies regarding pesticide disclosure and buffer zones and will be submitting a budget request to the Legislature for additional pesticide inspectors,” said Chairperson Russell S. Kokubun.
HB673
Earlier this year, the Legislature passed House Bill 673, which the Governor in June signed into law as Act 105, requiring the state Department of Agriculture to post certain information regarding restricted use pesticides on its website. The act also requires the Hawaii Legislative Reference Bureau to conduct a study on other states’ reporting requirements for non-restricted use pesticides.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie said: “This administration looks forward to working with the Mayor to determine a reasonable, thoughtful, and balanced course of action to address these issues and to provide the assurances of public health, safety, and protection.”

The state will work with the Legislature to restore positions within and seek additional funding for the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Health’s Environmental Health Administration, particularly for the neighbor islands, to address pesticide compliance and conduct inspections regarding pesticide contamination, and ensure that inspections are conducted in a timely manner.

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