Honolulu, Hawaii


RE: S.B. No. 778




Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi

President of the Senate

Twenty-Ninth State Legislature

Regular Session of 2017

State of Hawaii




Your Committee on Agriculture and Environment, to which was referred S.B. No. 778 entitled:




begs leave to report as follows:


The purpose and intent of this measure is to appropriate funds to implement the findings and recommendations of the Pesticide Use by Large Agribusinesses on Kauai report.


Your Committee received testimony in support of this measure from the Department of Agriculture; Ohana O Kauai; Hawaii Farmers Union United; Hawaii Nurses' Association, OPEIU Local 50; Hawaii Alliance for Progressive Action; Hawaii Center for Food Safety; Ka Ohana O Na Pua; We Are One, Inc.; and one hundred ninety-nine individuals. Your Committee received testimony in opposition to this measure from the Hawaii Cattlemen's Council, Inc., and one individual. Your Committee received comments on this measure from the Western Plant Health Association.


Your Committee finds that the County of Kauai passed Ordinance 960 relating to pesticides and genetically modified organisms in 2013, which was overturned in federal court in 2014. The ordinance contained a provision to create a Joint Fact Finding Group to help address key environmental and public health questions related to large-scale commercial agriculture entities using pesticides and genetically modified organisms on the island of 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, The ACCORD 3.0 Network, to facilitate the Joint Fact Finding Group project. The group 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 further finds that the study group issued its findings and recommendations on May 25, 2016, in a report titled, Pesticide Use by Large Agribusinesses on Kauai, 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 of agricultural pesticide use.


The report requests an appropriation of $3,000,000 to implement numerous recommendations. Your Committee supports a statewide effort to ensure that the people and environment of Hawaii are protected against any possible adverse effects of pesticide use.


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. 778 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,