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Spring 1985

Constitutional Amendments '84
Comparable Worth Update
Mahalo
League Talks to: Representative Ron Menor
Peter's Principles: You Can Make a Difference - VOTE! (Peter Herman)
League News and Voter Service - Maui MAL
League News and Voter Service - Kauai League
League News and Voter Service - Honolulu League
Marks for the League
Come Meet Your Elected Officials

League Talks to: Representative Ron Menor

Leo Hana's interview this issue is with Representative Ron Menor from the Mililani District. Representative Menor's district represents an area that has had extensive water well pollution from pesticides. This interview concludes our series on pesticides.


What do you feel are significant gains made in the area of pesticide pollution control dating the 1984 legislative session?

There were some gains but not as many as there could have been. The most significant gains were 1) increased awareness on the part of the legislature that pesticides could affect any community, 2) the legislature established OEQC as a lead organization to co-ordinate activities between agencies in addressing the problem, 3) the discussion of pesticide contamination heightened the awareness of the legislature of chemical contamination in general, 4) a resolution was passed to evaluate the capabilities of the State and Federal agencies to monitor pesticide and waste problems, 5) funds were given to UH to assist the Board of Water Supply in the area of monitoring and establishing where the contaminates are coming from.

What do you feel are the most pressing hazards the State is facing from pesticide use?

I see three pressing concerns 1) the continued contamination of water wells if the various agencies cannot identify and control the causes of such contamination, to this end an ongoing monitoring of water wells (not just those previously effected but all wells) must be maintained, 2) consumer ingestion of pesticides due to crop treatment and 3) worker exposure to pesticides due to insufficient monitoring and education of the worker to assure proper use of such substances.

Do you feel the State should have a separate environmental office?

I am not convinced that the creation of a separate bureaucracy is the answer, perhaps the answer is a step we've somewhat begun by consolidating the functions under an existing agency. No matter what we do as long as the attitude of City and State officials and agencies is to give these issues a medium to low priority no action will be taken no matter what agency we assign the task to.

What would you like to see the next legislative session do?

I would like to see the legislature provide adequate funding and direction to State and County agencies to enable them to do an adequate job of research and monitoring on hazardous substances and wastes. Perhaps one way to do this is to have commercial, agricultural, and industrial users or disposers of pesticides or waste contribute a fee that can be applied to research and monitoring. Several States already have such a law.

P.S. Representative Menor mentioned how helpful he found the League's publication on pesticides, "Is Pesticide Hazardous to your Health," during the past session. Let's keep up the good work!!!!

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