Report Title:

Pesticides; Elementary Schools; Pesticide Spraying



Establishes a pesticide-free buffer zone around elementary schools and imposes a seventy-two hour written notice to all schools in immediate area of spraying requirement.



S.B. NO.













Relating to Pesticides.





     SECTION 1.  The legislature finds that, although pesticides can help limit the environmental and economic damage that can be caused by insects, weeds, and plant diseases, they can also pose tremendous risks to human health and the environment.

     Pesticides can cause harm to humans, animals, or the environment because they are designed to kill, or adversely affect, living organisms.  According to scientists, pesticides can cause brain damage and trigger conditions such as epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, and Parkinson's disease.  In recent research on the impact of pesticides on health, funded by the United States Department of Health at the Energy & Environmental Research Center in the University of North Dakota laboratory, tests on rats revealed exposure to pesticides caused damage to the brain and to the gastrointestinal system.  Results also showed pesticide exposure damages the same brain areas that are linked to epilepsy, Parkinson's disease and Alzheimer's.  Research by a team from the Harvard School of Public Health in June 2006 found that respondents who were in contact with pesticides in 1992 were seventy per cent more likely to develop Parkinson's disease within the following ten years.  Furthermore, scientists also report that there are still huge gaps in our knowledge regarding the impact of pesticides on public health.

     Children and infants are particularly susceptible to pesticide exposure, as their bodies are undergoing rapid development.  Numerous scientific studies have linked both cancer and asthma to pesticide exposure.  Childhood cancer has increased ten per cent between 1974 and 1991, and is continuing to increase at an alarming rate of one per cent per year.  This makes cancer the leading cause of childhood death from disease.  The incidence of asthma is also on the rise and is the nation's leading cause of absenteeism among school children with chronic illnesses.

     Airborne particles, including pesticides carried on tiny bits of pollen, are an extremely efficient route for exposure.  Additionally, pesticides can travel by water runoff or by seeping into the ground.  Therefore, the strong trade winds and winter rainy season make Hawaii particularly susceptible to pesticide contamination.

     The purpose of this Act is protect children from the dangers associated with pesticide exposure by creating a pesticide-free buffer zone around elementary schools and requiring that all schools be given notice of pesticide use in the immediate area.

     SECTION 2.  Chapter 149A, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by adding a new section to be appropriately designated and to read as follows:

     "§149A‑    Pesticide use in the proximity of schools.  (a)  Pesticides shall not be applied commercially, by backpack application or otherwise, within a fifteen hundred foot radius of elementary school property.  With the exception of law enforcement or state emergency application, this radius shall operate as an absolute buffer protecting elementary school property from aerial pesticide spraying.

     (b)  Pesticides shall not be sprayed by aircraft within a half-mile radius of elementary school property.  With the exception of law enforcement or state emergency application, this radius shall operate as an absolute buffer protecting elementary school property from aerial pesticide spraying.

     (c)  Commercial use of pesticides within a five-mile radius of any school or educational institution property shall be reported to the department a minimum of one week before application.  The report shall contain:

     (1)  The name of the person for whom the pesticide is to be applied;

     (2)  The date and approximate time of application of the pesticide;

     (3)  The trade name and the strength of the pesticide;

     (4)  The amount or concentration of the pesticide, stated as pounds or gallons of active ingredient per acre or as approximate concentration per one hundred gallons;

     (5)  The specific location of the land or property and the crop or crops to which the pesticide is to be applied;

     (6)  Information regarding the equipment, device, or apparatus to be used and, if the pesticide is to be applied by aircraft, the Federal Aviation Administration number of the aircraft;

     (7)  The name of the pesticide operator or, if the pesticide application will be conducted by a public applicator or public trainee, the employer of the public applicator or public trainee;

     (8)  A list of schools within a five mile radius of the location; and

     (9)  A detailed written plan to prevent the applied pesticide from drifting into areas where pesticide application is prohibited by subsections (a) and (b).

     The landowner, lessee, or possessor filing the report shall notify the department of any subsequent change in information and the report submitted.

     (c)  The department shall notify the affected schools and the board of education by submitting a copy of the report required under subsections (a) and (b) to the schools and the board of education within seventy-two hours of the application of the pesticide.

     (d)  The affected schools shall post the report received from the department pursuant to subsection (c) in a publicly visible location on school property.

     (e)  The department shall make the report required under subsection (c) available to the general public, including posting the report on the department website."

     SECTION 3.  New statutory material is underscored.

     SECTION 4.  This Act shall take effect upon its approval.