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Posted: Monday, July 21, 2014 1:00 am

LIHUE — The county is seeking more money for its legal fight defending Ordinance 960.

The Kauai County Attorney’s Office is asking the County Council to approve $50,000 for special counsel services for the lawsuit aimed at blocking implementation of a county law targeting pesticides and genetically modified organisms. The council is expected to vote on the matter during its meeting Wednesday.

If approved, the money would bring the amount spent on the case to $125,000 so far.

A summary judgment hearing has been scheduled for 2 p.m. Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Honolulu regarding the case. A summary judgment is when a judge weighs the evidence presented in a case to determine if the case has merit to continue in court, or whether it should be tossed out.

In January, Syngenta, DuPont Pioneer and Agrigenetics Inc., a company affiliated with Dow AgroSciences, filed suit against Kauai County, charging it with violating the United States and Hawaii constitutions, multiple federal and state laws and the Kauai County Charter in passing Ordinance 960 (formerly Bill 2491). BASF joined the complaint a month later. 

The companies argue the ordinance is invalid and arbitrarily targets their industry with “burdensome and baseless” restrictions on farming operations by attempting to regulate activities over which counties have no jurisdiction.

Although also affected by the law, Kauai Coffee did not join the suit.

In February, the council unanimously approved a $75,000 allocation request from the county attorney’s office to start searching for special counsel services. The county ultimately hired McCorriston Miller Mukai MacKinnon LLP to defend the law in court, while the nonprofit advocacy group, Center for Food Safety, and Earthjustice, a nonprofit environmental law firm, will represent a coalition of Kauai residents and public interest groups.

Ordinance 960 requires companies that use above a certain threshold of restricted use pesticides to disclose their use of all pesticides and the presence of genetically modified crops, as well as establish buffer zones around sensitive areas, including schools and hospitals. It also requires the county to complete a health and environmental impact study of the industry.

The law was initially scheduled to take effect in August; however, a recent court order has delayed implementation until October. The county attorney’s office couldn’t be reached Sunday.

Wednesday’s council meeting begins at 8:30 a.m. in the Historic County Building in Lihue. 

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18 comments:

  • Active-8 posted at 11:16 pm on Tue, Jul 22, 2014.

    Active-8 Posts: 45

    Restricted use pesticides are much different than your average household poisons. They'remuch worse. So much so, a special permit is required to be an applicator of the stuff. Like our county council hopeful atta brun is. Restricted here in the United States but banned altogether in many other countries. The four international chemical companies that operate here on Kauai do use 98% of these restricted use pesticides on the island. The other two percent is made up mostly of the golf courses, termite tenters, and regular exterminators. The 98% is measured in tons, while the combined rest is measured merely in lbs. Lets remember that there are 2000 lbs in 1 ton. Now just one company, pioneer, through a lawsuit brought on by the citizens of waimea, their neighbors, has disclosed that they used 70 something tons just in the year 2012. That's just one of the four companies, in just one year. And come to find out, that number is only the amount of active ingredient. This stuff has to be mixed with water to dilute it. So we could be talking about much more than just the 70 tons or 140,000 gallons. Maybe we can ask atta brun what the ratio is? 1 to 10 maybe; I would think that would be a conservative ratio. Then it would be 1.4 million gallons of poison being sprayed on Kauai's soil, by just one of four companies, in one year. Don't you think that if you live here you have the right to know this? To know what the actual amounts are? That's what this law is requiring. What, how much, where and when are they spraying? Anyone arguing against our county having this right is either foolish or fooled by the money they take to think otherwise. Just look at chuck lasker or pete antonsen to see what I'm talking about. Biotech uses various fronts and paid for shills to push their agenda and disrupt democracy. They create confusion and distractions to mislead those with weaker minds and or hearts (once again lasker and antonsen) to help them in their cause. Which brings us finally to the lawsuit. A lawsuit, really? For asking what the state and federal agencies should be doing but they're not? Because, if you look closely the state and Feds have also been bought off. Corruption at its finest. And even our own mayor and some of the current administration can noticeably be seen siding with the "seed" companies on numerous issues. If you're truly interested in the facts look up the number of lawsuits any of these individual chemical (yes first and foremost that's what these guys are) companies are currently in or have recently settled, mostly lost actually. Off the top of my head, right at this moment under different "fronts" or "trade groups", biotech is suing the county of the big island, the county of kauai, threatening to sue the county of Maui, the state of Vermont, and the entire European Union, for passing citizen initiated laws. Lets see how they are defended by our "paid" gmo proponents to this letter. All I can end with is that if you're not part of the solution you're still part of the problem. Open your eyes, follow the money, do a little digging. Maybe go re-watch Erin Brokovitch and look for the similarities in our situations. The good news is there's a way out of this mess. This is an election year and there are a good number of candidates that are dedicated to preserving our natural environment and protecting the people's and the islands health. Get out there and vote. Spread the word. Be the change you want to seen in this world.
    Aloha-
    Active-8 as in time to activate

     
  • bruzer posted at 9:48 pm on Tue, Jul 22, 2014.

    bruzer Posts: 115

    Abercrombie sicked the dlnr on Mina when she did not approve one of his cronie's energy projects. Sheehan smells blood and is siezing the opportunity. For environmental reasons?? Really? who ever suggests that is naive.

     
  • DINKYDAO posted at 9:07 pm on Tue, Jul 22, 2014.

    DINKYDAO Posts: 231

    Bruzer, what everyone is concerned about is totally wrong. If one were to go to the Federal Register and look at what the so-called restricted use pesticides applied here on this island, you would find that the companies are in compliance with what rate can be used. It is unfortunate that the ill-informed people make an issue of what has been pre-determined as acceptable and make comments and act with malice. What is unacceptable is the mere fact that the county targeted these companies when state and federal governments found them in compliance. It is simple discrimination. The five that overrode the mayor's veto should be tossed out and made responsible for their actions.

     
  • bruzer posted at 3:01 pm on Tue, Jul 22, 2014.

    bruzer Posts: 115

    Dinkdao, I believe the staistic every one is concerned with is restricted use pesticides; and I believe that the percentage is more in the 98% range being applied by the chem/patent seed operations. Don't confuse things (as this industry is famous for) by adding the chlorine the county uses for drinking water.

     
  • John Patt posted at 1:17 pm on Tue, Jul 22, 2014.

    John Patt Posts: 351

    Atra, Back in my day it was called democracy and freedom. Syngenta is not our sovereign master though they are trying to be.

     
  • Teddy Freddy posted at 8:56 am on Tue, Jul 22, 2014.

    Teddy Freddy Posts: 17

    Let's get real. If 2491 is as bad as some think then the Judge will rule tomorrow to throw out the law and no further costs to the County will happen (unless the County decided to appeal). But come on guys and girls there are 10 different employees suing the County in 6 or 7 different departments. Any one of these lawsuits will cost the County far more in legal fees than the 2491 suit.

     
  • PeteAntonson posted at 9:43 pm on Mon, Jul 21, 2014.

    PeteAntonson Posts: 3150

    Back in John Patt's day, it was called civics class. If he hadn't slept through it, he would have learned that the Judiciary is a separate; but, equal part of our fine government of representative democracy!

     
  • DINKYDAO posted at 7:52 pm on Mon, Jul 21, 2014.

    DINKYDAO Posts: 231

    John, think of the subterfuge used by the councilmembers to override the mayor's veto. Mayor was right but did we elect the stooge, Mason Chock? No, the unemployed crash fireman was appointed to the council, rather than the apparent 8th vote-getter, Kipukai Kualii. I don't trust this council because of their tactics. Now the same council is saying that the 8th vote-getter should get a vacant seat. (This is after the damage has been done.) Litigation for this poorly-written ordinance will cost the county much more in the near future. Don't think that any county can assume responsibilities of federal and state governments. Think of over 3,000 counties doing the same in our country. The county council made a stupid error in doing so. The county does not have deep pockets and cannot continue in this litigation. The agribusinesses on this island have trained and certified applicators and only apply 16% of the chemicals on this island. Are the remaining 84% applicators on this island trained and certified?

     
  • notahippi posted at 7:46 pm on Mon, Jul 21, 2014.

    notahippi Posts: 531

    I agree w/bruzer and Yakuai except instead of not giving him a pay raise let's just get rid of him....I'm so sorry I voted for him....

    Oh ya! You need more money?.....tax the chemical companies....

     
  • imua44 posted at 7:25 pm on Mon, Jul 21, 2014.

    imua44 Posts: 445

    The $125,000 spent so far on attorney fees is just the beginning. Hang on to your lava-lava citizens, this lawsuit will cost the County millions.

     
  • bruzer posted at 5:43 pm on Mon, Jul 21, 2014.

    bruzer Posts: 115

    'Proactive', when was it ever about eating GMO. OUr neighbors are eating restricted use persticides

     
  • DINKYDAO posted at 4:57 pm on Mon, Jul 21, 2014.

    DINKYDAO Posts: 231

    Why are we so silent on this issue? Do we, as taxpayers, have any protection against these five councilmembers. Of course, these five will vote to add $50,000 more to defend a piece of legislation that was vetoed by the mayor despite threats of death and overridden by the five - Hooser, Bynum, Yukimura, Furfaro, and their stooge, Chock.. Where are you, you redshirts? Drs. Shabert and Wilmore, Dudneys, and others that supported this ordinance, where are you? Show me the money so the county does not have to come up with the additional funds. You guys created the problem, now resolve it without any cost to us taxpayers. May I make a suggestion? Just admit you made a mistake and get rid of the ordinance.

     
  • ProactiveKauai posted at 2:54 pm on Mon, Jul 21, 2014.

    ProactiveKauai Posts: 4

    Please just stop. We should use that money for better purposes. Our families are struggling, and our tax dollars are being used for what? We all ate GMO at one point. Let it go. Believe in God and let it go.

     
  • bruzer posted at 12:35 pm on Mon, Jul 21, 2014.

    bruzer Posts: 115

    EPA short handed, not regulating. State DOA pesticide division does little to zilch. Do we let the largerst chemical comapies on the planet, all with histories of abusing local communities, voluntarily regulate themselves? Good on the courage of our county council, the mouse that roared. Stay the course!

     
  • John Patt posted at 11:47 am on Mon, Jul 21, 2014.

    John Patt Posts: 351

    Dinkydao my friend, the law is the law. It was voted on by a majority of council members who were elected by a majority of citizens. Syngetna et all doesn't respect us enough to follow our laws, or to change them in a democratic American fashion. But then they are a foreign company with foreign interests.

     
  • Yakauai posted at 11:44 am on Mon, Jul 21, 2014.

    Yakauai Posts: 339

    would rather see $50,000 spent on this lawsuit than Justin Kollar and his assistent get a raise from $105,000 to $114,000. justin kollar pay raise from $114,000 to $127,000. at leaste the money for law suit has potential to actually help the people of kauai and not just two people.
    or. . . .
    kauai spent over $4 million on overtime last year for our cops and fire folks. maybe some of that could go towards the law suit. the money is there in the coffers of kauai.

     
  • UncleAina posted at 7:58 am on Mon, Jul 21, 2014.

    UncleAina Posts: 753

    Throw good money after the bad - but near zero chance of the county winning these lawsuits. Just because the woot woot crew doesn't like GMOs doesn't trump us law.

     
  • DINKYDAO posted at 7:48 am on Mon, Jul 21, 2014.

    DINKYDAO Posts: 231

    Logically, the US District Court will determine that suit by the affected agribusinesses has merit and will allow it to continue in court. Hope the council disallows the request for more money and concedes that the ordinance has serious problems. If allowed, suggest that the five councilmembers who overrode the mayor's veto contribute the $50,000 if they feel what was done is correct. The county has serious financial problems and cannot be the "golden goose that lays the golden eggs" for those redshirts. Where are Kauai Rising, Food Safety, Green Peace, etc. in their promise to raise funds to support the ordinance? There is no end to this litigation and we can ill afford to support the ordinance. Enough is enough!

     

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