STAND. COM. REP. NO. 1241
RE: H.B. No. 692
Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi
President of the Senate
Thirty-Second State Legislature
Regular Session of 2023
State of Hawaii
Your Committee on Agriculture and Environment, to which was referred H.B. No. 692, H.D. 1, entitled:
"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO PESTICIDES,"
begs leave to report as follows:
The purpose and intent of this measure is to increase administrative and criminal monetary penalties for violators of the Hawaii pesticides law.
Your Committee received testimony in support of this measure from the Department of Agriculture, Hawai‘i Alliance for Progressive Action, Kanalani Ohana Farm, Food+ Policy Internship 2023, Agriculture and Food Security Committee of the Environmental Caucus of the Democratic Party of Hawai‘i, Hawai‘i Farmers Union United, Imua Alliance, Pono Hawaii Initiative, Education Caucus of the Democratic Party of Hawai‘i, Environmental Caucus of the Democratic Party of Hawai‘i, and twenty-four individuals. Your Committee received testimony in opposition to this measure from the Hawaii Pest Control Association; Expert Exterminators, Inc.; and one individual. Your Committee received comments on this measure from the Hawaii Crop Improvement Association.
Your Committee finds that state pesticide laws have not been amended in twenty-two years for commercial pesticide applicators and in nearly fifty years for private pesticide applicators. The Pesticides Branch of the Department of Agriculture has issued and closed almost one hundred violation notices for companies or individuals that repeatedly violate state pesticide laws. Your Committee further finds that twenty percent of repeat offenders have multiple notices of violation within the same time frame and that some offenders have had as many as four enforcement actions brought against them for the same types of violations. Your Committee, therefore, recognizes that the penalties for violating state pesticide laws require strengthening to ensure that individuals and companies are deterred from using pesticides outside of their legal limits and conditions. Thus, this measure increases the monetary fines for pesticide violations for pesticide misuse to protect public health and safety.
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 H.B. No. 692, H.D. 1, and recommends that it pass Second Reading and be referred to your Committee on Judiciary.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Agriculture and Environment,
MIKE GABBARD, Chair