Environ. Hazards; Children

Assigns responsibility to and clarifies the duties of the
department of health with respect to any significant increase or
cluster of disease or illness at a school that is suspected to be
related to environmental contamination.

THE SENATE                              S.B. NO.           1577
TWENTIETH LEGISLATURE, 1999                                
STATE OF HAWAII                                            

                   A  BILL  FOR  AN  ACT



 1      SECTION 1.  The legislature finds that, as the population of
 2 the State grows, housing developments and residential areas are
 3 being constructed on former agricultural lands or on locations
 4 formerly used by the military.  This situation is certain to
 5 increase as agriculture declines and additional lands become
 6 available for residential development.  Environmental health
 7 hazards in the soil as residue from pesticides or contaminated
 8 drinking water can remain undetected until significant clusters
 9 of disease or illness are identified.  Secret underground
10 military facilities, such as tunnels or bunkers, in which were
11 stored arms or chemicals, are also capable of causing
12 environmental health hazards.
13      The legislature finds that significant clusters of illness
14 or disease are not readily identifiable until some commonality
15 occurs, such as proximate neighbors comparing notes or children
16 of the same age level entering a single neighborhood school being
17 enrolled in special education classes.  The legislature also
18 finds that some of the existing statutes relative to this issue
19 were created over a generation before new residential

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                                     S.B. NO.           1577

 1 developments began to grow on former agricultural land and may
 2 need revising in view of current circumstances.
 3      The legislature further finds that when a significant
 4 cluster or increase of illness or disease occurs in a school and
 5 is identified by the faculty, it should be the responsibility of
 6 the principal and faculty to report their suspicions to the
 7 department of health.  The department of health, working in
 8 cooperation with the department of education, should be
 9 responsible for the related health services.  Finally, the
10 legislature finds that the department of health also should have
11 the authority to pool the resources of other state departments,
12 such as the department of agriculture, the department of land and
13 natural resources, and the University of Hawaii, to investigate,
14 analyze, and resolve reports of significant clusters or increases
15 of illness or disease occurring in a school.
16      Accordingly, the purpose of this Act is to assign
17 responsibility to and clarify the duties of the department of
18 health with respect to any significant increase or cluster of
19 disease or illness at a school that is suspected to be related to
20 environmental contamination.
21      SECTION 2.  Section 302A-439, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is
22 amended to read as follows:
23      "[[]302A-439[]]  Eligibility [standards.] rules.  The

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                                     S.B. NO.           1577

 1 eligibility of exceptional children for instruction, special
 2 facilities, and special services shall be determined in
 3 accordance with [those standards established] rules adopted by
 4 the department[.] and the department of health pursuant to
 5 chapter 91."
 6      SECTION 3.  Section 302A-441, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is
 7 amended to read as follows:
 8      "[[]302A-441[]]  Studies, surveys, rules.  The department
 9 of education shall evaluate, identify, and report to the
10 department of health any suspicious increase or significant
11 clusters of disease or illness suspected to be related to
12 environmental contamination and reported by a school.  The
13 department of education shall [establish and make such] adopt
14 rules pursuant to chapter 91 and conduct any studies, surveys,
15 and evaluations[, and rules as] that are necessary to carry out
16 the purposes of sections 302A-436 to 302A-443."
17      SECTION 4.  Section 302A-442, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is
18 amended to read as follows:
19      "[[]302A-442[]]  Occupational therapy services, physical
20 therapy services, school health services, mental health services,
21 psychological services, and medical services for diagnostic or
22 evaluative purposes[.]; environmental health hazards.  The
23 department of health, within the funds available, shall be

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                                     S.B. NO.           1577

 1 responsible for the related services of occupational therapy,
 2 physical therapy, school health, mental health, psychological,
 3 and medical services for evaluation or diagnostic purposes, and,
 4 within the funds available, shall provide for those exceptional
 5 children who need these services and who attend public school in
 6 the State.  The department of health shall work in cooperation
 7 with the department of education to implement this section[.] and
 8 to identify, investigate, and report to the public any findings
 9 relating to the presence or absence of significant clusters or
10 increases of illness or disease suspected to be caused by
11 environmental health hazards.  The department of health shall
12 have the authority to pool resources of other state departments
13 to conduct the necessary investigation.  The procedures to
14 implement this section shall be in accordance with the department
15 of health's rules."
16      SECTION 5.  Statutory material to be repealed is bracketed.
17 New statutory material is underscored.
18      SECTION 6.  This Act shall take effect upon its approval.
20                              INTRODUCED BY:______________________