The Hawaii Department of Agriculture said Wednesday that it has posted on its website some data showing what restricted-use pesticides were sold in the state last year.
The data only specifies what kinds of pesticides were purchased and in what amounts, and doesn’t state who bought them.
The agency posted the information after Civil Beat reported that the department hasn’t complied with a 2013 law, Act 105, requiring that all forms submitted to the DOA pertaining to the sale of RUPs be posted online.
Flickr: CGP Grey
The Department of Agriculture blamed its lack of enforcement on legal concerns, explaining that it is afraid it will be sued if it posts data linking companies or individuals that purchase RUPs to what they purchased.
A spokeswoman for the Attorney General explained the state is worried companies will stop accurately reporting their purchases if the agency complies with the law.
Act 105 was passed during the 2013 legislative session in response to concerns from residents in Kauai about the impact of commercial agricultural pesticide use on public health and the environment.
The county passed an ordinance in 2013 requiring disclosure of pesticide use but a federal court ruled last fall that only the state can regulate agriculture.
But state lawmakers don’t seem to be inclined to change the rules. A bill in the Legislature to require agricultural companies to report when, where and how they actually apply pesticides died this year.
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