S.B. NO.



S.D. 1
















     SECTION 1.  The legislature finds that nutrient cycling fosters agricultural production by building soil health and fertility.  Without nutrient cycling, nutrients flow from farmland into aquifers and shorelines, depleting nutrients in the soil and forcing farmers to use commercial fertilizers, which require fossil fuels to produce, decrease soil health and species diversity, increase pesticide use, and reduce the nutrient density of food.  Nutrient cycling puts end products back into the land-based food chain instead of generating waste or causing pollution.

     The legislature further finds that nutrient cycling benefits local agriculture by lowering production costs, increasing yields, and leaving the soil in a revitalized condition.  Nutrient cycling also reduces waste streams.  In addition, research conducted at nutrient cycling centers focuses on a whole system of agriculture, identifying the optimum overall solution instead of one that just produces the highest crop yield.

     The legislature further finds that a regional nutrient cycling pilot program on Maui supports Hawaii's transition away from a plantation agriculture economy to a diversified agriculture model of farming.  This is especially important on Maui with the closure of the Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar Company plantation and the end of the cane era.  Maui county agriculture helps to feed the community, fuel the economy, and provide jobs on Maui.  Given the closure of the Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar Company plantation, a regional nutrient cycling pilot program on Maui will continue to support farming jobs.  Further, the pilot program will generate soil fertility amendments that, in turn, will lower farm production costs, increase food security, and mitigate climate change by sequestering carbon into the soil and reducing methane emissions from Maui's landfill.

     The legislature further finds that a regional nutrient cycling pilot program on Maui would promote environmental, economic, and social benefits for the State along with food and energy security for Hawaii residents.  Food waste on Maui is buried in landfills, creating voluminous methane gas that is emitted into the atmosphere.  A feasible alternative is to process food waste and other organic waste through a nutrient cycling center.  The end result is that the waste goes back into the farming system as a whole, which spares landfills.  Waste is processed into low-cost fertilizer to supply farmers who can use the fertilizer for crops, thereby fostering food security, decreasing climate change, and improving air quality.  Furthermore, regional nutrient cycling minimizes the interisland transfer of waste streams, reducing the likelihood of transporting invasive species.

     The legislature further finds that a regional nutrient cycling pilot program on Maui would assist in the accumulation of scientific evidence from public and private sources, including the scientific community, industry, conservation organizations, and federal, state, and county agencies to identify the net environmental impacts that agriculture creates.  The pilot program would serve as a repository of this information and provide it as needed to federal, state, and local governments.

     The purpose of this Act is to establish and make an appropriation for a regional nutrient cycling pilot program on Maui and require reporting on the efficacy of the pilot project.

     SECTION 2.  There is established a regional nutrient cycling pilot program on the island of Maui, to be administered by the department of agriculture.  The board of agriculture shall establish a panel, consisting of three members with expertise in agriculture and knowledge of nutrient cycling, to advise the department of agriculture regarding the pilot program.  The regional nutrient cycling pilot program:

     (1)  May determine priorities of the program and give priority to projects that are located in and benefit disadvantaged communities;

     (2)  Shall strive to be replicated in other parts of the State; and

     (3)  Shall provide environmental and agronomic co-benefits, such as improved air and water quality, improved crop yield, lowered production costs, and soil erosion reduction.

     SECTION 3.  The department of agriculture shall report to the legislature no later than twenty days prior to the convening of the regular session of 2020 on the operational and economic efficacy of the regional nutrient cycling center pilot project on Maui established pursuant to this Act.

     SECTION 4.  There is appropriated out of the general revenues of the State of Hawaii the sum of $        or so much thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 2018-2019 for the establishment of a regional nutrient cycling pilot program on Maui, including costs for program operations, equipment, regulatory compliance, land development and leasing, administration, personnel, and contaminant testing.

     The sum appropriated shall be expended by the department of agriculture for the purposes of this Act.

     SECTION 5.  This Act shall take effect on July 1, 2050.



Report Title:

Appropriation; Agriculture; Nutrient Cycling Center Pilot Project; DOA



Establishes and appropriates moneys for a regional nutrient cycling pilot program on Maui.  Requires the Department of Agriculture to report on the efficacy of the pilot project.  Effective 7/1/2050.  (SD1)




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