STAND. COM. REP. NO. 2052

 

Honolulu, Hawaii

 

RE: S.B. No. 2569

 

 

 

Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi

President of the Senate

Twenty-Ninth State Legislature

Regular Session of 2018

State of Hawaii

 

Sir:

 

Your Committee on Agriculture and Environment, to which was referred S.B. No. 2569 entitled:

 

"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO PESTICIDES,"

 

begs leave to report as follows:

 

The purpose and intent of this measure is to expand the membership and duties of the Pesticide Advisory Committee in accordance with the recommendations of the Pesticide Use by Large Agribusinesses on Kauai report.

 

Your Committee received testimony in support of this measure from the Department of Education; Hawaii Alliance for Progressive Action; Holistic Learning Center of Maui, LLC; Civic Education Council; Hawaiian Civic Club of Honolulu; Hawaii Center for Food Safety; Beyond Organic Consulting, Inc.; We Are One, Inc.; GMO Free Kauai; Citizens4AHealthierMaui; and seventy-one individuals. Your Committee received testimony in opposition to this measure from the Department of Agriculture; Hawaii Farm Bureau; Hawaii Crop Improvement Association; Western Plant Health Association; Hawaii Floriculture & Nursery Association; and Hawaii Cattlemen's Council, Inc.

 

Your Committee finds that Ordinance 960, passed by the County of Kauai in 2013 relating to pesticides and genetically modified organisms, which was overturned in federal court in 2014, contained a provision to create a Joint Fact Finding Group (JFFG) to help address key environmental and public health questions related to large-scale commercial agriculture entities using pesticides and genetically modified organisms on Kauai. When the ordinance was struck down by the court, the Department of Agriculture and the Kauai County Office of the Mayor contracted an independent public policy group, ACCORD3.0 Network, to facilitate the JFFG project. The JFFG was charged with gathering accurate information on the lands used by the seed companies and Kauai Coffee, their pesticide usage, and evidence of any possible adverse health and environmental impacts.

 

Your Committee also finds that the JFFG issued its findings and recommendations on May 25, 2016, in a report titled Pesticide Use by Large Agribusinesses on Kauai (Report) and arrived at the following conclusions regarding health and environmental impacts on the west side of Kauai:

 

(1) The Kauai health data examined is very limited and does not show a causal relationship between the pesticides used by the seed companies and health problems found on the west side or any other part of Kauai; and

 

(2) There needs to be additional data gathering going forward to continue to demonstrate the impacts, if any, of agricultural pesticide use.

 

Your Committee further finds that passage of this measure will implement the JFFG's recommendation that the Pesticide Advisory Committee be expanded and its mission broadened to:

 

(1) Carefully establish new state standards for "chronicity" to account for low-level continuous and cumulative exposures to pesticides;

 

(2) Undertake a major update of Hawaii's pesticide laws and regulations;

 

(3) Revise and expand the Good Neighbor Program; and

 

(4) Establish a consistent and data-driven buffer zone policy and use "green screens".

 

As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Agriculture and Environment that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of S.B. No. 2569 and recommends that it pass Second Reading and be referred to your Committee on Ways and Means.

 

Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Agriculture and Environment,

 

 

 

________________________________

MIKE GABBARD, Chair