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Letter to the Editor: Hawai‘i County Pesticide Ban

November 17, 2019, 10:30 AM HST
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EPA photo.

I’m very frustrated the Hawai‘i County Council is advancing legislation that will ban the use of pesticides by county workers in the near future.

This ban will likely force Parks and Recreation, and County Highways Divisions to hire more workers to maintain our roads and parks. Parks and Recreation already acknowledged they’ll need to hire 400 maintenance workers if this legislation passes. The County Highways Division will have to hire more people also.

The increased payroll costs, which will be paid by county taxpayers, tell only part of the story. There will be additional impacts to roadway safety and a carbon impact to the environment because of increased usage of machinery to maintain these areas. The County Highways Division, for example, is already having a hard time maintaining the grassy shoulders alongside our County highways. If you drive the Ali’i Drive Extension to Captain Cook, you can see a stark example of the roadway safety hazards caused by this backlog in work.

I understand there are health impacts to humans from this pesticide usage, but what about the increased county payroll costs and carbon impact on the environment resulting from this proposed legislation?

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