H.B. NO.














relating to invasive species.





     SECTION 1.  The legislature finds that the Wasmannia auropunctata, known as the little fire ant, threatens native biodiversity, alters tropical ecosystems, impairs human health, impedes tourism, diminishes agricultural productivity, mars horticulture sales, and accordingly ranks among the world's worst invasive species.  Human behaviors and habitats allow the little fire ant to move quickly, disperse widely, grow to high densities, and inhabit locations not otherwise possible.

     Hawaii's tropical climate is ideally suited for little fire ant establishment and growth.  The little fire ant, by far one of Hawaii's worst invasive pests, is not only bothersome to  residents, visitors, and farmers because of its nasty sting, it also harms agriculture and natural areas by nurturing other invasive pests such as aphides, mealy bugs, soft scale insects, and whiteflies.

     The legislature further finds that when compared to the other counties, the county of Hawaii has been effected the most by the little fire ant. The University of Hawaii, the county of Hawaii, and the department of agriculture must collaborate to develop and implement effective measures to address the impacts of the little fire ant in the county of Hawaii.

     The department of agriculture's little fire ant program was created to survey, detect, and develop the most efficient little fire ant management strategy with minimal impact to the State's tropical ecosystem and non-target organisms, while serving as the role model to eradicate the little fire ant in all communities.  The legislature finds that the department of agriculture needs to be more proactive and aggressive in implementing its current fire ant program.

     The purpose of this Act is to appropriate funds for the development and implementation of additional tools to assist the department of agriculture to expand its current little fire ant program.

     SECTION 2.  The department of agriculture shall develop and implement a pilot pesticide treatment coupon project within its current little fire ant program.  The pilot project shall distribute coupons redeemable for appropriate pesticide at suppliers or vendors within the county of Hawaii at no cost to individuals who have reported and verified to the department the presence of little fire ants on their property within the county of Hawaii.  Each coupon shall be valid for a one-year supply of the department's recommended treatment plan.

     SECTION 3.  The department of agriculture shall create a map that indicates all little fire ant sites in the county of Hawaii by using all its available data, including verified reports of little fire ant sites. The maps shall be updated periodically and made available on the department's website.

     SECTION 4.  The department of agriculture shall submit a report on its progress in implementing the mandates in sections 2 and 3 of this Act to the legislature no later than twenty days prior to the convening of the regular sessions of 2016 and 2017.  The report shall include findings and recommendations, any necessary proposed legislation, and whether the pilot project in section 2 and little fire ant site map in section 3 of this Act should be continued, terminated, or modified.

     SECTION 5.  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 2015-2016 and the same sum or so much thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 2016-2017 for the little fire ant pilot project in section 2 and the little fire ant site map in section 3 of this Act.

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

     SECTION 6.  This Act shall take effect on July 1, 2015.








Report Title:

Little Fire Ant; Hawaii Island; Pesticide Treatment Coupon Pilot Project; Little Fire Ant Site Map; Appropriations



Mandates the Department of Agriculture to establish a little fire ant Pesticide Treatment Coupon Pilot Project and site map.

Requires the Department to submit reports to the Legislature prior to the 2016 and 2017 Regular Sessions.




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