THE SENATE

S.B. NO.

1585

THIRTY-SECOND LEGISLATURE, 2023

 

STATE OF HAWAII

 

 

 

 

 

 

A BILL FOR AN ACT

 

 

relating to animal agriculture.

 

 

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:

 


SECTION 1. The legislature finds that there are significant risks to public health and the environment from concentrated animal feeding operations or "CAFOs". These facilities house hundreds or thousands of animals at a time, creating a concentration of massive amounts of animal waste that contains chemicals, pharmaceuticals, heavy metals, and pathogens such as fecal coliform, E-coli, camphylobacter, salmonella, cryptosporidium parvum, clostridium, and giardia. These pollutants can contaminate the environment and harm human and animal health.

Even when adhering to state and federal permits, concentrated animal feeding operations harm wildlife through air and water pollution and threaten surface water and groundwater due to runoff and seepage of animal waste. Those who live in proximity to these facilities and breathe their pollution suffer increased rates of asthma and other diseases, significantly lowering their quality of life. Additionally, these impacts are suffered disproportionally by indigenous people and people of color. Concentrated animal feeding operations are also injurious to animal welfare and put small, independent farms using ecologically sensitive methods to raise livestock at a disadvantage.

The legislature further finds that the negative effects of concentrated animal feeding operations have impacted native Hawaiians. In the 2010s, the Ookala community was significantly polluted by the Big Island Dairy, a large dairy concentrated animal feeding operation operated by Idaho owners that generated millions of gallons of animal urine and feces. Wastewater was allowed to flow through several gulches and into the Ookala community before it ran into the Pacific Ocean. Because of the dairy's pollution, those in the Ookala community were unable to fish, swim, gather food, or enjoy their beautiful streams and ocean. For years, the community attempted to get Big Island Dairy to stop polluting their waters, but the dairy continued its injurious practices even after the groups filed a Clean Water Act lawsuit. In May 2018, Big Island Dairy released 2,300,000 gallons of contaminated water over three days into the waterways that flow through Ookala. Furthermore, during Hurricane Lane, the dairy released at least 5,900,000 gallons of manure water into nearby gulches, followed by a 600,000 gallon-discharge on Christmas Eve in 2018. Through the community's lawsuit, it became clear that a concentrated animal feeding operation such as Big Island Dairy could not be lawfully or safely operated in Hawaii. In 2019, Big Island Dairy settled the lawsuit and agreed to close.

While local food production is crucial for Hawaii, the legislature also finds that the harms and impacts of large concentrated animal feeding operations outweigh any benefits and, in fact, make it harder for small, midsize, and independent farms to operate.

To avoid environmental and community health issues like those caused by Big Island Dairy, the purpose of this Act is to protect the State's residents and environment by preventing further large concentrated animal feeding operations from being operated in Hawaii and phasing out existing large concentrated animal feeding operations.

SECTION 2. The Hawaii Revised Statutes is amended by adding a new chapter to be appropriately designated and to read as follows:

"Chapter

large concentrated animal feeding operations

   -1 Definitions. As used in this chapter, "large concentrated animal feeding operation" shall have the same meaning as defined in title 40 Code of Federal Regulations section 122.23(b)(4).

   -2 Prohibition on large concentrated animal feeding operations. (a) Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, beginning        ,     , no new large concentrated animal feeding operations shall be permitted, licensed, constructed, or operated in the State.

(b) Beginning        ,     , the department of health shall not issue or renew a license or permit to allow the modification, construction, addition, or expansion of any existing livestock operation or concentrated animal feeding operation of any size that would thereafter become a large concentrated animal feeding operation as a result of such modification, construction, addition, or expansion.

   -3 Phasing out of existing large concentrated animal feeding operations. Beginning July 1, 2028, all existing large concentrated animal feeding operations shall cease operations in the State; provided that the director of health, in cooperation with existing large concentrated animal feeding operations, shall develop proposed rules for the closure of all large concentrated animal feeding operations in the State."

SECTION 3. This Act shall take effect upon its approval.

 

INTRODUCED BY:

_____________________________

 

 


 


 

Report Title:

Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations; Department of Health; Prohibition; Phase Out

 

Description:

Prohibits new operations and renewal of existing licenses or permits to operate large concentrated animal feeding operations in the State, under certain conditions and by an unspecified date. Phases out all existing large concentrated animal feeding operations by 7/1/2028.

 

 

 

The summary description of legislation appearing on this page is for informational purposes only and is not legislation or evidence of legislative intent.