It’s go time at the legislature, and we need your voice to help champion a truly just and sustainable food future for Hawaii!
We are supporting a suite of bills this legislative session that will both increase community protections from pesticides and support regenerative agriculture that will feed our communities, addressing our food security needs.
Right now we need your help to protect our communities from pesticide drift by supporting HB 929.
To have greater accountability, we must improve pesticide incident response and deter future misuse by increasing penalties for pesticide use violations.
HB 929 will:
1. Require the department of agriculture to submit an annual report to the legislature detailing the scope of its pesticide inspections and compliance investigations;
2. Require the issuance of a warning notice for first time pesticide violators; and
3. Increase the penalties for pesticide violations.
Violations of pesticide laws, especially by large-scale regular users of Restricted Use Pesticides, should be timely and thoroughly investigated and reported on. This applies not only to agriculture, but any violation of pesticide laws by applicators whether that includes roadside spraying, sports fields, etc.
When major violations occur that do or could impact our keiki and communities there should be an appropriately high price to pay. Fines should not been so low that they are considered a “cost of doing business”.
The deadline for testimony is tomorrow at 9:30am (late testimony is also accepted). Email testimony to: AGRtestimony@capitol.hawaii.gov SAMPLE TESTIMONY
Subject line: “Testimony in SUPPORT of HB 929"
Aloha Chair Creagan, Vice Chair DeCoite and members of the committee,
[Please include an introduction that says who you are, where you are from and why this matters to you specifically, especially if you or your community have been impacted by drift. Feel free to customize the following sample testimony as you see fit.]
Please support HB 929 which requires Department of Agriculture to provide annual reports on pesticide inspection and compliance investigations, and increases fines for pesticide use violations.
I am deeply concerned with the effects long-term pesticide application and pesticide drift are having on our keiki, and communities. According to a 2012 report by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) entitled “Pesticide Exposure in Children,” children exposed to chronic, low-level exposure to Restricted Use Pesticides are at a risk of neurodevelopmental disabilities like autism and ADHD, as well as leukemia and asthma. Additionally, the states own Joint Fact Finding Group Study cites several incidents of pesticides illegally migrating into our land, air and water just on Kauai alone.
The Joint Fact Finding Group Report also makes several recommendations for greater oversight, data collection and more expedited review of drift complaints. HB 929 will help the state implement recommendations from its own report.
Enforcement of existing regulations relating to pesticide misuse is crucial to protecting communities and our environment. Timely, routine inspections and compliance investigations relating to the misuse of pesticides are also crucial to protecting the public and ensuring public confidence in the state oversight of pesticide use. This applies not only to agriculture but to any pesticide misuse whether it be during roadside spraying, on sports fields or elsewhere.
When violations occur, fines should be appropriately set to deter future misuse. I am concerned that these fines at their current levels represent an acceptable “a cost of doing business”, especially for large scale pesticide users.
The fees that are collected through violations can serve as a source of revenue to support the Department of Agriculture’s increased capacity for oversight and enforcement.
Thank you for your consideration! I urge you to support HB 929.
[Your Name, Town}
Thank you for taking action.
Together, we can protect our communities and Hawai‘i's precious land and waters.
In partnership and solidarity,
The HAPA Team