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Earthjustice: Pesticide dust harming Native Hawaiians

Posted September 14

— Environmental lawyers are asking federal agencies to investigate pesticide dust drifting into Native Hawaiian communities in West Kauai and Molokai.

Earthjustice said Wednesday it filed a complaint with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The lawyers say the Hawaii Department of Agriculture and the department's Agribusiness Development Corporation are violating the civil rights of Native Hawaiians.

They say the Agribusiness Development Corporation allows pesticides and pesticide-laden dust into Native Hawaiian communities by leasing thousands of nearby acres to heavy pesticide users that are primarily genetically engineered seed companies.

They allege the state agencies aren't making an effort to protect the communities.

Agriculture department officials didn't immediately comment on the complaint.

Earthjustice attorney Paul Achitoff says toxic chemicals drifting into affluent neighborhoods wouldn't be tolerated.

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