Hawaii environmentalists advocate for pesticide regulations
Posted April 18
KAUAI, Hawaii — Hawaii environmentalists continue to push for state regulations on pesticide despite state lawmakers' hesitance.
Members of the environment-focused nonprofit Hawaii SEED recently met with Gov. David Ige to ask him to consider a ban on pesticide chlorpyrifos, The Garden Island reported (http://bit.ly/2oHPv8i) Monday.
There are no more bills left in Hawaii legislature related to the pesticide since the House Finance Committee chose not to hear the last one in March.
The governor can still take a stance on the issue, Hawaii SEED member Jeri Di Pietro said.
"We met with the governor and asked him to consider a ban on chlorpyrifos himself," he said. "There's no bills left, but he could do that."
The governor's office has not released a statement on the issue.
Other environmentalists were disappointed to see Kauai legislatures did not support bills to require disclosure of restricted use pesticide users in Hawaii.
The proposed bills were not needed, District 16 Rep. Dee Morikawa said.
"Disclosure is already law through the Good Neighbor program," Morikawa said. "We haven't even given the Department (of Agriculture) a chance to accomplish what they're mandated to do, but people aren't satisfied. They want action now, today, but we have to be reasonable. The department doesn't even have the staff to do what they need to accomplish."
District 8 Sen. Ron Kouchi has said he will still continue to push for $750,000 to be added to the Department of Agriculture's budget for surface water and air quality testing.
"Half a million would be to continue surface water testing statewide, and the $250,000 would start some air quality testing," Kouchi said. "The main thing is to get better information, and I think the $750,000 will get us better information."