Hawaii News

Conservation groups: State must regulate intra-island sale of infested plants, products

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Little fire ants, coconut rhinoceros beetles, the hala scale – these invasive pests and others could wreak havoc on Hawai‘i’s ecosystems and native species, cultural practices, agriculture and food security, and even things like public health, tourism, and overall economy, if they are allowed to proliferate across the islands.

But proposed rules for business best practices and the quarantine and treatment of plants and other products with little fire ants and other pest infestations have been held up for eight months.

A series of correspondences released by Senator Jarrett Keohokālole revealed that the main reason for this hold up has been industry representatives, who objected to rule provisions in private meetings.

“Now, the Department of Agriculture is proposing replacement rules that do not regulate the intra-island sale of LFA-, coconut rhinoceros beetle-, hala scale- and other pest- infested products and plants,” a letter published by the Sierra Club of Hawai‘i reads. “These new replacement rules would only make permanent a temporary restriction on inter-island movement of coconut rhinoceros beetle – an important step, but far, far less than what is needed. On Friday at 1:30 p.m., the Advisory Committee on Plants and Animals will be considering the department’s request to re-start the entire rulemaking process with rules that don’t go nearly far enough to protect us.”


To attned the Advisory Committee on Plants and Animals’ Friday meeting, click here.


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