HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES             H.C.R. NO.183         
TWENTIETH LEGISLATURE, 1999                                
STATE OF HAWAII                                            
                                                             
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                     HOUSE  CONCURRENT
                        RESOLUTION

  REQUESTING THE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH TO INVESTIGATE AND EVALUATE
    ANY SUSPICIOUS OR SIGNIFICANT CLUSTER OR INCREASE OF
    ILLNESS OR INJURY THAT IS SUSPECTED OF BEING CAUSED BY
    ENVIRONMENTAL CONTAMINATION OR THAT IS REPORTED BY THE
    DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION OR A COMMUNITY.



 1        WHEREAS, as the population of the State grows, homes and
 2   schools are being constructed on former agricultural lands or
 3   facilities formerly used by the military; and
 4   
 5        WHEREAS, this situation is certain to increase as
 6   agriculture declines and the military downsizes and additional
 7   lands become available for urbanization; and
 8   
 9        WHEREAS, environmental health hazards in the soil, as
10   residue from pesticides or contaminated drinking water, can
11   remain undetected until significant clusters of disease or
12   illness are identified; and
13   
14        WHEREAS, secret underground military facilities, such as
15   tunnels and bunkers, in which were stored munitions and
16   supplies, are also capable of causing environmental health
17   hazards; and
18   
19        WHEREAS, significant clusters of illness or disease are
20   not readily identifiable until some commonality occurs, such as
21   proximate neighbors comparing notes or children of the same
22   age-level entering a single neighborhood school being enrolled
23   in special education classes; and
24   
25        WHEREAS, when a suspicious or significant cluster or
26   increase of illness or injury occurs in a school or community
27   and is identified by faculty or community members, it should be
28   the ethical duty of the principal and faculty members, and the
29   civic duty of community members, to report their suspicions or
30   findings to the Department of Health; and
31   
32        WHEREAS, as Hawaii's family doctor, the Director of Health
33   should be responsible for taking the lead role in:
34   

 
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                                  H.C.R. NO.183         
                                                        
                                                        


 1        (1)  Identifying and coordinating the immediate and long-
 2             term health care needs of adults and children whose
 3             illnesses or injuries are suspected of being caused
 4             by environmental contamination; and
 5   
 6        (2)  Pooling and coordinating the resources of other state
 7             agencies to investigate and evaluate reports of
 8             suspicious or significant clusters or increases of
 9             illness or injury occurring in a school or community;
10             now, therefore,
11   
12        BE IT RESOLVED by the House of Representatives of the
13   Twentieth Legislature of the State of Hawaii, Regular Session
14   of 1999, the Senate concurring, that the Department of Health
15   is requested to investigate and evaluate any suspicious or
16   significant cluster or increase of illness or injury that is:
17   
18        (1)  Suspected of being caused by environmental
19             contamination; or
20   
21        (2)  Reported to the Department of Health by the
22             Department of Education or a community;
23   
24   and
25   
26        BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Department of Health is
27   requested to take the lead role in pooling and coordinating the
28   resources of other state agencies to conduct the necessary
29   investigation and evaluation, which should include soil, water,
30   and air testing as applicable; and
31   
32        BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Department of Health is
33   requested to report to the public any findings relating to the
34   presence or absence of any suspicious or significant cluster or
35   increase of illness or injury that is suspected of being caused
36   by environmental contamination; and
37   
38        BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Department of Health is
39   requested to identify and coordinate the immediate and long-
40   term health care needs of adults and children whose illnesses
41   or injuries are suspected of being caused by environmental
42   contamination; and
43   

 
 
 
 
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                                  H.C.R. NO.183         
                                                        
                                                        


 1        BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that certified copies of this
 2   Concurrent Resolution be transmitted to the Director of Health,
 3   the Chairperson of the Board of Agriculture, the Chairperson of
 4   the Board of Land and Natural Resources, the Chairperson of the
 5   Board of Regents of the University of Hawaii, the President of
 6   the University of Hawaii, the Chairperson of the Board of
 7   Education, the Superintendent of Education, and the Adjutant
 8   General.
 9 
10 
11 
12                         OFFERED BY:  ____________________________