New pesticides rules subject of hearing

The Maui News

The Hawaii Agriculture Department will hold a public hearing Nov. 1 on Maui to gather comments on proposed rule changes relating to pesticides.

The amendments would adopt labeling requirements and changes established by federal law, according to a public hearing notice released last month.

The hearing is scheduled for 2 to 4 p.m. in the department’s conference room at 635 Mua St. in Kahului. All comments must be sent to the department by Nov. 8.

To view the proposed rules, visit hdoa.hawaii.gov/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/HAR-Title-4-Chap-66-RAMSEYER-revised-9-25-2018-after-HBOA-approval.pdf.

Changes to the rules include adding a new section to address aerial pesticide applications; removing the list of state restricted-use pesticides from the rules to allow for the efficient addition or removal of high-risk pesticides; establishing procedures for maintaining the state restricted-use pesticide list external to the rules; and increased oversight of experimental-use permittees.

Other changes include amending the definitions section to aid rule interpretation and adding requirements for restricted-use pesticide reporting and use within buffer zones.

First-time violators of the new rules could be issued a written warning citing the specific violation and any necessary corrective action.

Wholesalers, retailers and other distributors of pesticide products can be fined up to $5,000 per offense and have their certificate suspended for six months or longer for subsequent violations. Certified commercial pesticide applicators and other registrants also are open to fines and possible criminal penalties.

The rules do not specifically address the chemical chlorpyrifos, which is found in pesticides and linked to severe developmental delays in children and other health risks. In June, Hawaii became the first state in the nation to ban the use of pesticides with the chemical.

Written testimony on the proposed rules may be emailed to HDOA.PB@hawaii.gov; or mailed to the Pesticides Branch, Department of Agriculture, 1428 S. King St., Honolulu 96814; or via fax at (808) 973-9418.

If possible, submit five written copies of testimony prior to the hearing.

People requiring special accommodations at the hearing may call the Department of Agriculture at (808) 973-9579. Accommodation requests must be received at least five working days prior to the hearing.

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