SB 3095 SD1 RELATING TO ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION will be heard by the Hawaii State House Committee on Finance on Thursday, March 15, 2018, 2:30 P.M. in Conference Room 308
The original draft of SB 3095 included provisions for mandatory disclosure for the largest users of restricted use pesticides (RUP’s), and pre-application notification for residents living adjacent to pesticide intensive agricultural operations.
Please write to Chair Luke, Vice Chair Cullen and Members of the Committee, stating your strong support of SB3095 SD1 WITH these proposed amendments.
- Re-insert provisions for mandatory disclosure for the largest users of RUP’s
- Re-insert provisions for pre-application notification
- Extend the pilot program to all schools within ¼ mile of agricultural operations that meet the requirements for mandatory disclosure
- Include a statewide ban on the agricultural use of the neurotoxin chlorpyrifos.
SB 3095 SD1 as it stands now will create a pilot program of vegetative buffer zones around 10 schools, and a drift-monitoring study at three schools.That is not enough.
The proposed amendments will protect Hawai‘i’s keiki from the impacts of large-scale agricultural pesticide use by establishing mandatory disclosure and pre-application notification requirements for outdoor application of pesticides in various sensitive areas or by large-scale, outdoor commercial agricultural operations.
A ban on chlorpyrifos would protect keiki from a dangerous neurotoxin that is known to create neurodevelopment disorders in fetuses and children’s brains.
Why is this measure important?
There are at least 27 schools in Hawai‘i within a mile of commercial agricultural operations that apply large volumes of restricted-use pesticides. The American Academy of Pediatrics, and several recent peer reviewed studies have found there to be a significantly increased health risk for children exposed to pesticides.
The 2012 the American Academy of Pediatrics report entitled “Pesticide Exposure in Children” reviewed 195 medical studies; their chief concerns were that pesticides are linked to childhood cancers, neurobehavioral and cognitive deficits, adverse birth outcomes, and asthma.
In adult populations, pesticide exposure has been linked to Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, bladder and colon cancers, Parkinson’s disease, depression and disrupting our hormonal or endocrine systems.
Why should disclosure and pre-application notification be MANDATORY for large-scale users?
Voluntary disclosure provides no incentive to comply, no penalties and the data obtained will always be unreliable. That is why California has adopted the most comprehensive pesticide use reporting system in the country. Hawaiʻi should also adopt mandatory pesticide reporting, as the types and amounts of pesticides used per acre in Hawaiʻi agriculture are similar to those used in California.
Advance notification will provide schools and other facilities with information to best protect children and residents. School officials can then determine if windows should be closed or if children should be kept inside during recess hours. This is not an unreasonable or burdensome requirement on agriculture and is a basic courtesy to residents/institutions adjacent to pesticide intensive agricultural operations.
Why ban chlorpyrifos?
Chlorpyrifos is a highly toxic brain-harming insecticide being used in high volumes in Hawai`i. Chlorpyrifos is a threat to communities, farmworkers, and particularly young and developing children. There is extensive peer-reviewed research showing that exposure to chlorpyrifos harms our brains.
It causes brain damage, neurological disorders, birth defects, persistent developmental disorders, autoimmune disorders and is linked to low birth weight, pre-term births, small head circumference, changes in children’s cognitive behavioral, and motor performance disorders, respiratory changes such as asthma and endocrine disruption. It has been suggested that chlorpyrifos affects brain development even at levels below toxicity guidelines. The EPA banned home use of chlorpyrifos in 2001, particularly to prevent contact with young children. Prior to the Trump Administration the EPA was poised to ban chlorpyrifos, but reversed its position after the appointment of Scott Pruitt.
Are there other communities that have adopted buffer zones around schools?
In California, as of January, 2018 pesticide applications within a ¼ mile of public K-12 schools and licensed child day-care facilities are prohibited during school hours, Monday through Friday between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. This includes all applications by aircraft, sprinklers, air-blast sprayers, and all fumigant applications. In addition, most dust and powder pesticide applications are also prohibited during this time. This ¼ mile restriction is directly the result of adverse health effects found in the California studies of children living near agricultural fields.
SB3095 SD1 is an important step toward fulfilling the objectives and recommendations contained within the state-sponsored Joint Fact Finding study group (JFFG) report. Please submit testimony to encourage this committee to pass this measure with the proposed amendments.