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Venue change for hearing on pesticides, genetically modified crops

By Star-Advertiser staff

LAST UPDATED: 3:02 a.m. HST, Jul 26, 2013

In anticipation of a big turnout at a public hearing pertaining to pesticide use and farming of genetically modified crops, Kauai’s County Council has changed the venue for the meeting for a second time.

The hearing, set to get under way at 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday, will be held at the Kauai Veterans Center, 3215 Kapule Highway in Lihue, which can seat up to 600 people. Earlier this month, the council moved the venue from its regular meeting place at the historic Kauai County Building to a larger venue at Kauai Community College’s Performing Arts Center, which has a maximum capacity of about 540 people.

Councilman Gary Hooser, who introduced the Bill 2491, said he anticipates a large crowd at the hearing. The bill targets large users of restricted-use pesticides, farms using experimental pesticides, and growers of genetically modified crops for new regulations, such as mandatory disclosures about pesticide use and the presence of GMOs (genetically modified organisms). 

Among other regulations, the ordinance would ban large users of restricted-use pesticides  — agricultural operations purchasing or using more than five pounds or 15 gallons of restricted-use pesticides — as well as users of any amount of experimental pesticides, from using pesticides of any sort inside a 500-foot buffer zone around schools, hospitals and other sensitive areas, such as public roads, streams and shorelines.

For more information, call the office of the county clerk, (808) 241-4821. 

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