HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

H.C.R. NO.

168

TWENTY-FOURTH LEGISLATURE, 2008

 

STATE OF HAWAII

 

 

 

 

 

HOUSE CONCURRENT

RESOLUTION

 

 

requesting the Department of Health and the Department of Education to conduct a full investigation into the causes of illnesses reported by students and teachers at Waimea Canyon Middle School during occasions in 2006, 2007, and 2008.

 

 


WHEREAS, on January 25, 2008, ten students and one teacher at Waimea Canyon Middle School on Kauai were sent to the emergency room with symptoms of headaches, nausea, and dizziness due to a noxious odor; and

 

WHEREAS, while the source of the odor has not been ascertained, the spraying of pesticide on adjacent farm lands that are being cultivated by Syngenta Seeds, Incorporated, is a potential source, as well as the possible presence of cleome gynandra (stinkweed); and

 

WHEREAS, the commercial application of agricultural pesticides has been suspected in other incidents of students and teachers becoming ill while on the Waimea Canyon Middle School campus in November 2006 and January 2007, and most recently the incident on January 25, 2008; and

 

WHEREAS, on February 12, 2008, the Kauai Director of the Hawaii State Teachers Association requested by letter that the Department of Health (DOH) test the students and teachers for toxic levels of pesticides after the January 25, 2008 incident, and noted that the DOH did not take samples or conduct tests after the incident; and

 

WHEREAS, S.B. No. 3170, Regular Session of 2008, which would establish a pesticide-free buffer zone around elementary schools and impose a seventy-two hour written notice to all schools in the immediate area of spraying requirement, was amended on February 15, 2008, to establish a working group to develop an action plan for addressing incidents of pesticide exposure at public schools and a monitoring program for affected schools; and

 

WHEREAS, it is imperative that the source of ongoing occurrences of student and teacher illnesses at Waimea Canyon Middle School be determined with certainty as soon as possible; now, therefore,

 

BE IT RESOLVED by the House of Representatives of the Twenty-fourth Legislature of the State of Hawaii, Regular Session of 2008, the Senate concurring, that the Department of Health and the Department of Education are requested to conduct a full investigation into the causes of illnesses reported by students and teachers at Waimea Canyon Middle School on Kauai during occasions in 2006, 2007, and 2008, which are suspected to be a result of pesticide applications near or adjacent to the schools; and

 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that this investigation is requested to include a systematic and scientific approach, toxicology testing, and a comparative study of students, teachers, and staff at Waimea Canyon Middle School and a "control group" at another school that is not adjacent to agricultural operations and therefore not regularly exposed to pesticide spraying; and

 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that, if current departmental funding does not allow for a full scientific investigation, the departments are requested to develop a comprehensive plan for the investigation and a detailed estimate of the resources necessary to complete the plan; and

 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Department of Health and the Department of Education are requested to submit a report to the Legislature no later than twenty days prior to the Regular Session of 2009, on their findings and recommendations, including:

 

(1) The results of their investigation as aforedescribed; or

 

(2) The proposed plan and the funding required to determine with certainty whether the students and teachers at Waimea Canyon Middle School on Kauai have incurred any increased health risks as a result of the close proximity to agricultural pesticide sprayings, when compared to schools outside of areas subject to similar conditions.

 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that certified copies of this Concurrent Resolution be transmitted to the Director of Health and the Superintendent of Education.

 

 

 

 

OFFERED BY:

_____________________________

 

 

Report Title:

Schools; Pesticide Spraying; Testing