Report Title:

Roadside Herbicide Use


Requires state and county agencies responsible for roadside vegetation maintenance to develop and implement an integrated vegetation management strategy to minimize the use of herbicide. Establishes a roadside vegetation committee.


H.B. NO.









relating to roadside herbicide use.



SECTION 1. The maintenance of roadsides by state agencies presently involves the use of herbicides. There is growing evidence that the use of herbicides may be harmful to human health, and there is growing concern about their contribution to nonpoint source pollution of streams and coastal and ground water. Hawaii county and many jurisdictions in other parts of the country have developed integrated vegetation management strategies that use nonchemical methods of vegetation management whenever feasible.

The purpose of this Act is to require the development and utilization of a strategy that integrates all vegetation management alternatives into a cost effective, safe vegetation management program to minimize the use of roadside chemicals.

SECTION 2. Chapter 264, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by adding a new section to be appropriately designated and to read as follows:

"264-   Integrated vegetation management program. (a) All state and county governmental agencies responsible for the maintenance of public roadsides shall adopt an integrated vegetation management program that includes the use of nonchemical, nonmechanical, and nonmanual methods whenever feasible.

(b) An integrated vegetation management strategy for the control of weeds along public roads shall be designed to minimize maintenance costs and minimize chemical methods of integrated vegetation management. The overall goal shall be the reduction and minimization of herbicide use.

(c) For the purposes of this section:

"Integrated vegetation management" means an approach to vegetation management that uses the right tool for each situation, including mechanical, manual, cultural, biological, chemical, thermal, and structural methods. Human health, environmental, aesthetic, and economic concerns shall be incorporated into the chosen control method as part of vegetation management decisions.

"Nonchemical methods" means methods that reduce or eliminate noxious plant and weed species, pest, or fungi through the use of mechanical, manual, cultural, biological, thermal, structural, and other methods of control.

(d) There is created the roadside vegetation committee to:

(1) Develop alternative roadside vegetation management strategies;

(2) Develop and recommend an efficient process for quality roadside design and management;

(3) Identify pesticides that are unsafe;

(4) Identify, explore, and review roadside vegetation management practices;

(5) Initiate demonstration programs of environmentally safe roadside vegetation management; and

(6) Make advisory policy recommendations with respect to roadside vegetation management.

(e) The committee members shall be appointed by the director of transportation not later than sixty days from the date of this Act. There shall be           committee members, who shall include but not be limited to:

(1) A representative from the department of transportation;

(2) A representative from each of the respective counties of Honolulu, Maui, Hawaii, and Kauai;

(3) A representative that is an expert in the field of biodiversity;

(4) A representative from the landscape architect profession; and

(5) A representative from the environmental community.

(f) The committee shall elect a chairperson and vice-chairperson from among its members. A majority of the members shall constitute a quorum. The committee shall be placed within the department of transportation for administrative purposes. Members of the committee shall serve without compensation. The committee shall meet at least twice a year and shall submit a report on the progress made to reduce herbicide use, including any recommendations for administrative or statutory changes, to the legislature not less than twenty days prior to the convening of each regular session of the legislature."

SECTION 3. The department of transportation shall submit a preliminary report to the legislature not later than twenty days prior to the convening of the 2005 regular session on the progress and plans to comply with section 2 of this Act.

SECTION 4. New statutory material is underscored.

SECTION 5. This Act shall take effect on July 1, 2004.