HONOLULU (KHON2) - Hawaii has become the first in the nation to enact a law that bans the use of pesticides containing the chemical chlorpyrifos.
Starting January 1, 2019, users of pesticides containing chlorpyrifos or other restricted use pesticides will be required to report annually to the state Department of Agriculture.
Users will also be prohibited from using the chemical within a 100-foot buffer zone around schools during school hours and will be prohibited from applying pesticides with chlorpyrifos without a temporary permit.
In 2023, pesticides with the chlorpyrifos chemical will be completely banned.
The Environmental Protection Agency has recommended that chlorpyrifos be banned from all food crops.
The Department of Agriculture has already restricted the use of chlorpyrifos in its proposed pesticides rule, and the use of the chemical has declined drastically.
"Protecting the health and safety of our keiki and residents is one of my top priorities. We must protect our communities from potentially harmful chemicals. At the same time, Hawai'i's agriculture industry is extremely important to our state and economy. We will work with the Department of Agriculture, local farmers and the University of Hawai'i as we seek safe, alternative pest management tools that will support and sustain our agriculture industry for generations to come," said Gov. Ige.