Waste-derived fertilizers

Prohibits the importation into the State of any commercial
fertilizer that does not meet the allowable levels of
nonnutritive metals in commercial fertilizers as specified in the
Canadian Fertilizers Act, as amended.  (HB941 HD1)

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES                H.B. NO.           H.D. 1
TWENTIETH LEGISLATURE, 1999                                
STATE OF HAWAII                                            

                   A  BILL  FOR  AN  ACT



 1      SECTION 1.  The legislature finds that there are no national
 2 risk-based standards with regard to the manufacture,
 3 distribution, and use of commercial fertilizers in the United
 4 States though other industrialized nations have already adopted
 5 such standards.  The legislature further finds that while laws or
 6 rules concerning the manufacture, distribution, and use of
 7 commercial fertilizers in most states, including Hawaii, are far
 8 from stringent, manufacturing industries throughout the country
 9 engage in the practice of disposing of hazardous wastes,
10 including such toxic substances as lead, cadmium, arsenic,
11 radionuclides, and dioxins, by recycling such waste products into
12 commercial fertilizers.  These industries have disposed of tons
13 of hazardous waste by giving it free to commercial fertilizer
14 manufacturers or even paying these manufacturers to take it.
15 This lack of regulation and standards to prohibit excess levels
16 of toxic substances in waste by-products from being used in
17 commercial fertilizers has made it virtually impossible to
18 accurately measure the volume of those fertilizers produced by
19 recycling hazardous wastes.

Page 2                                                     941
                                     H.B. NO.           H.D. 1

 1      To date, there has been little substantive research done in
 2 the United States on this subject.  In fact, there are no
 3 conclusive data that specifically prove either the danger or the
 4 safety of this practice.  However, the legislature finds that
 5 there is ample evidence from throughout the United States where
 6 the recycling of hazardous wastes into commercial fertilizers has
 7 proven detrimental to agricultural practices, resulting in the
 8 introduction of heavy metals and radioactive material to both
 9 food crops and livestock, which in turn are then marketed for
10 human consumption.  For example, a uranium-processing plant in
11 Gore, Oklahoma, disposed of low-level radioactive waste by simply
12 calling it a fertilizer, whereupon it was then sprayed on nine
13 thousand acres of grazing land.  In Tifton County, Georgia, over
14 one thousand acres of peanut crops were destroyed through the use
15 of a limestone-based fertilizer that also contained undisclosed,
16 but not insignificant, amounts of lead, cadmium, and chromium.
17      The Monsanto Company, on its own initiative, has
18 discontinued its practice of recycling and marketing its
19 hazardous wastes as fertilizer, citing concerns about public
20 health and its own liability.
21      Due to Hawaii's dependence upon agriculture as a significant
22 economic resource and in the interest of protecting the public

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                                     H.B. NO.           H.D. 1

 1 health of its citizens and its fragile environment, the
 2 legislature finds that it is necessary to enact laws to safeguard
 3 human health and the environment with regard to the manufacture,
 4 distribution, and use of waste-derived commercial fertilizers.
 5 In doing so, the legislature has looked to the state of
 6 Washington, where government, agricultural concerns, and
 7 commercial fertilizer manufacturers and distributors came
 8 together in an effort to find solutions to dealing with this
 9 environmental and health concern, and to Canada, which through
10 its Canadian Fertilizers Act set standards regarding acceptable
11 levels for nonnutritive metals in both products and soils.
12      The purpose of this Act is to prohibit the importation into
13 the State of any commercial fertilizer that does not meet the
14 allowable levels of nonnutritive metals in commercial fertilizers
15 specified in the Canadian Fertilizers Act, as amended.
16      SECTION 2.  Chapter 342J, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is
17 amended by adding a new section to be appropriately designated
18 and to read as follows:
19      "342J-    Waste-derived commercial fertilizers; standards.
20 Any generation, transportation, treatment, storage, disposal,
21 processing, re-refinement, burning (including burning for
22 purposes of energy recovery), recycling, distribution, marketing,

Page 4                                                     941
                                     H.B. NO.           H.D. 1

 1 or otherwise handling of any commercial fertilizer that does not
 2 meet the allowable levels of nonnutritive metals in commercial
 3 fertilizers as specified in the Canadian Fertilizers Act, as
 4 amended, is prohibited until such time as federal risk-based
 5 standards are adopted or studies have proven conclusively that
 6 the Canadian standards are not adequate to protect human health
 7 and the environment."
 8      SECTION 3.  New statutory material is underscored.
 9      SECTION 4.  This Act shall take effect upon its approval.