PROPOSED HAWAII COUNTY COUNCIL BILL
COUNTY OF HAWAI
STATE OF HAWAII
BILL NO. 101
AN ORDINANCE AMENDING CHAPTER 14, HAWAII COUNTY CODE 1983
2016 EDITION, AS AMENDED), BY ADDING A NEW ARTICLE 24, RELATING TO
BE IT ORDAINED BY THE COUNCIL OF THE COUNTY OF HAWAII:
SECTION 1. Chapter 14, Hawaii County Code 1983 ( 2016 Edition, as amended),
is amended by adding a new article to be designated article 24 and to read as follows: -
Article 24. Use of herbicides in Hawaii County parks, roads, bikeways, sidewalks,
trails, drainageways, and waterways prohibited.
Section 14-141. Findings and purpose.
The council finds that herbicides are heavily used to control vegetation in public places
such as parks, roads, bikeways, sidewalks, trails, drainageways, and waterways. Exposure to
these substances subjects the public, County workers, domestic animals, and wildlife to a high
risk of exposure to dangerous chemicals. For instance, the World Health Organization has listed
glyphosate, a commonly used herbicide, as a probable carcinogen.
To protect the community from exposure to harmful chemicals, it is the purpose of this
ordinance to promote and ultimately require the County to use other means besides the
application of prohibited herbicides, to control vegetation in public spaces. To accomplish this
end, this ordinance creates a list of prohibited herbicides, establishes a prohibition against their
use by the County after a four-year transition period, and creates a vegetation management
transition committee that will oversee the County' s efforts to develop viable alternatives to the
use of prohibited herbicides. At the end of the four-year transition period, the ban on County
use ofprohibited herbicides on the list will take effect and the transition committee will cease to
It is not the purpose of this ordinance to affect the use ofprohibited herbicides by persons
or entities other than the County.
Section 14-142. Definitions.
As used in this article, unless otherwise specified:
Eco- friendly products and methods" means products and methods that the County has
determined are safe for use on County owned or maintained public parks and along all County
owned or maintained roads, bikeways, sidewalks, trails, drainageways, and waterways.
Examples include but are not limited to use of the following:
1) Manual removal;
2) Mechanical means such as weed whackers, mowers, side cutters, steam or
3) Animals, such as goats and sheep, to eat weeds;
5) Adding inputs to improve the soil;
6) Mulching; and
7) Products such as D-limonene, baking soda, vinegar, and salt.
Emergency" means an urgent need exists to mitigate or eliminate a plant pest that threatens
public health and safety.
Minimum risk products" include products that are exempt from the requirements of the
Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act in accordance with the minimum risk
exemption regulations contained in 40 CFR 152. 25.
Prohibited Herbicide" means any substance or mixture of substances:
1) Intended for use as a plant regulator, defoliant, pre- emergent, or desiccant; or as a
spray adjuvant, such as a wetting agent or.adhesive; and
2) That is listed in the schedule of prohibited materials contained in section 14- 143( b).
Section 14-143. Prohibited herbicides in public ways.
a) Except as otherwise provided in this article, the County shall not use prohibited herbicides
on County owned or maintained public parks and alongside County owned or maintained
roads, bikeways, sidewalks, trails, drainageways, and waterways on or after January 1,
b) Schedule of prohibited herbicides.
The following schedule lists herbicides prohibited for use by the County to control
unwanted vegetation growth on County owned or maintained public parks, and alongside all
County owned and maintained roads, bikeways, sidewalks, trails, drainage ways, and waterways:
Schedule of Prohibited Herbicides
Section 14-144. Exemptions.
a) Persons or entities who are not officers or employees of the County and who are
leaseholders of agricultural lands owned or under the County' s control, are exempt
from this article with respect to the application of herbicides to their agricultural
land leased from the County.
b) Property owners or those in control of private property or any property that is not County
maintained, that is located adjacent to a County road easement are exempt from this article,
with respect to the use of herbicides on that easement. Such activity remains subject to the
provisions of chapter 149A, I4awai` i Revised Statutes.
c) In the case of an emergency vegetation management situation that results in a public
health hazard to the extent that it necessitates a temporary exemption from this
article, the mayor or director of the applicable department may request a temporary
exemption from the council. A temporary exemption may be granted by the council
if it finds the following:
1) The temporary exemption is necessary to address an emergency public health
2) All other methods available do not adequately mitigate the public health
3) That a reasonable time period for this exemption has been proposed.
Section 14-145. Use of herbicides during transition.
a) During the transition period from January 1, 2020 until December 31, 2023, the
director of the department of environmental management, the director of the
department of parks and recreation and the director of the department of public
works, shall take steps to reduce the use of herbicides that are listed on the schedule
of prohibited herbicides. These steps shall include:
1) Creating and carrying out, in concert with ongoing advisement from the
vegetation management transition committee, a program to transition from
using prohibited herbicides to using minimum risk and eco- friendly products
and methods; and
2) Establishing and maintaining a County-wide record system to document the
County's herbicide usage, prohibited and otherwise, the use of other
methods, effectiveness of the various choices, and associated costs. These
records shall be shared with the vegetation management transition committee.
b) During the transition period, if the departments of environmental management, parks and
recreation, or public works intend to use an herbicide listed on the prohibited herbicide
schedule on a County owned or maintained public park or alongside a County owned or
maintained road, bikeway, sidewalk, trail, drainageway, or waterway:
1) A notice shall be posted that a prohibited herbicide, identified by name, will be
applied on a specified date and site. The notice shall be posted in a visible location at
the site where the herbicide will be used, at least twenty- four hours before
2) The area sprayed shall be made inaccessible to the public until the sprayed product
dries, but for no less than four hours, or in accordance with the product' s label,
whichever is greater;
3) A blue dye shall be applied to the product to make it visible to the naked eye; and
4) All directions on the label must be adhered to, such as wind or rain condition
Section 14-146. Vegetation management transition committee.
a) There shall be a vegetation management transition committee which shall consist of seven
members. The members shall be appointed by the mayor, confirmed by the council, and
may be removed upon recommendation by the mayor with the approval of the council. The
office of the mayor shall provide support service to the committee.
b) Members shall serve a term that will expire upon the abolition of the transitional committee
on December 31, 2023. Any vacancy on the committee shall be filled for the remainder of
the unexpired term.
c) Members shall be residents of the County who possess education, experience, or
knowledge in one or more of the following fields or professions:
1) Native Hawaiian plants and cultural advisement thereof,
2) Tropical horticulture;
4) Silviculture; and
5) Organic landscape design and maintenance, permaculture, or natural farming.
d) In addition, the director of the department of environmental management, the director of
the department of parks and recreation, the director ofthe department ofpublic works, or
their designated representatives, shall serve as ex-officio members of the committee,
without the power to vote.
e) There shall be a chairman and vice- chairman of the committee who shall be elected by the
members. At a minimum, the committee shall meet on a quarterly basis.
f) The vegetation management transition committee shall:
1) Monitor progress of the departments of environmental management, parks and
recreation, and public works, in reducing their use of herbicides listed on the schedule
of prohibited herbicides and establishing a record system, in accordance with section
2) Assist the County in researching and developing new and safer vegetation
3) Educate County officials, staff, and the public about minimum risk and eco- friendly
methods of vegetation control; and
4) On or before November 1, 2020 and annually thereafter, report to the mayor and the
Council on the status of efforts by the departments of environmental management,
parks and recreation, and public works, to reduce the use of prohibited herbicides on
all County owned or maintained public parks and along all County owned or
maintained roads, bikeways, sidewalks, trails, drainageways, and waterways."
SECTION 2. Severability. If any provision of this ordinance, or the application thereof to
any person or circumstance, is held invalid, the invalidity does not affect other provisions or
applications of the ordinance which can be given effect without the invalid provision or
application, and to this end the provisions ofthis ordinance are severable.
SECTION 3. This ordinance shall take effect upon approval; provided that section 14-
146, relating to the vegetation management transition committee shall be repealed on December
INTRODUCED BY: Rebecca Shute-Villegas
COUNCIL MEMBER, COUNTY OF HAWAII
Date of Introduction:
Date of 1 st Reading:
Date of 2nd Reading: