Besides phasing out all chlorpyrifos uses by 2023, this comprehensive bill puts in place robust pesticide reporting, prohibits the use of the most toxic pesticides within 100 feet of schools during normal school hours, requires a pesticide drift monitoring pilot study, and beefs up funding for the state’s pesticide enforcement. Governor David Ige could sign the bill into law in the coming days.
Chlorpyrifos has been linked to reduced IQ and attention deficit disorder in children, and is highly toxic to farmworkers, some of whom have been poisoned by it on multiple occasions on Hawaiʻi farms in recent years. Last year, the EPA refused to ban chlorpyrifos, claiming the science is “unresolved” and decided it would study the issue until 2022.
The following statement is from Paul Achitoff, Earthjustice managing attorney:
“We applaud the Hawaiʻi legislature for passing this important bill and commend Senators Russell Ruderman and Mike Gabbard, as well as Representatives Richard Creagan and Chris Lee, for their leadership on this issue. Banning this nerve agent from our food and farms is critical to protecting children, workers, and countless communities that face the dangers of pesticide drift every day. We urge the governor to sign the first chlorpyrifos ban in the nation and rid Hawaiʻi of this dangerous chemical once and for all.”