Should the city send its recyclables to H-Power and can we create a composting facility?

Aloha O‘ahu Group supporters! We continue discussing waste issues at Honolulu Hale and 2018 started with a Public Works, Infrastructure, and Sustainability Committee hearing about our recycling program, H-power, and options for commercial composting.

Resolution 17-311 recommends we send our recyclables to H-Power for incineration. Please see our written testimony in OPPOSITION below:


We also testified in SUPPORT for Resolution 17-340, at this hearing. This Resolution urges the city to develop commercial composting facilities able to process solid waste that is currently going to H-Power, including single-use disposable food containers. This measure resulted from ongoing discussion to ban EPS foam food containers and mandate compostable food containers for restaurants and other retailers. Resolution 17-340 was also deferred in the committee meeting, pending a site visit to Hawaii Earth Recycling, which is a facility that currently processes our curbside recycling green bins (garden and yard waste) and could potentially be upgraded to accept a wider variety of compostable materials (other food waste, newspaper and cardboard, compostable plastics, etc). The intention of deferring the Resolution was to incorporate additional information and findings from the site visit, and potentially a composting pilot project, into Resolution 17-340. Here is our testimony below:


After the hearing, we gave a statement to Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii News Now video coverage: Plan to burn recyclables at Hpower placed on hold

Hawai‘i’s Mayors commit to shared goal of 100 percent renewable ground transportation by 2045

Today in Wai‘anae, Leaders from the City and County of Honolulu, Maui County, Hawai‘i County and Kaua‘i County came together today on the Polynesian voyaging canoe Hōkūleʻa in committing to transform Hawai‘i’s public and private ground transportation to 100 percent renewable fuel sources by 2045.

Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell, Maui County Mayor Alan Arakawa, Kauaʻi County Mayor Bernard P. Carvalho Jr. and Hawaiʻi County Managing Director Wil Okabe, representing Mayor Harry Kim, set the new target by signing their respective proclamations.

The mayors were joined by Master Navigator Nainoa Thompson in Pōkaʻī Bay on Oʻahu’s Leeward Coast to sign the proclamations on the captain’s box of the Hōkūleʻa, which promoted sustainability and resilience during its recent Mālama Honua voyage.

“The stakes are too high for Oʻahu, as well as the rest of our state.  We have to change our path,” said Mayor Caldwell.  “With this announcement we want to send a message that we welcome the next phase of Hawaiʻi’s clean energy transformation, which will not only reduce our carbon dioxide emissions and fossil fuel imports, but will also ensure a more resilient future.”

The four mayors recognize that this pledge is a critical next step to energy sustainability since ground transportation accounts for over one-quarter of Hawaiʻi’s imported fossil fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions.  It also represents a significant financial gain for our residents as operating and maintaining an electric vehicle costs about one-third less than a comparable vehicle powered by fossil-fuel.

In their specific proclamations the City and County of Honolulu, the County of Maui, and the County of Kauaʻi pledged to lead the way by transitioning all of their fleet vehicles to 100 percent renewable power by 2035, and the County of Hawaiʻi plans to establish a goal toward the same end.

“It is vitally important that we chart a new course that steers us away from fossil fuel use and carbon emissions in our ground transportation,” said Maui Mayor Alan Arakawa.  “The goals we are setting today are not only desirable, but attainable, and help send a message that Maui County and Hawaiʻi are open for innovation to help ensure the greater health of our communities and the planet as a whole.”

The signed proclamations solidify Hawaiʻi’s role as a global renewable energy leader, with the state and all four counties becoming the first in the nation to commit to a 100 percent renewable transportation future.

“Hawai’i County is committed to the goals of this initiative, and we will do everything we can to see it fulfilled,” said Hawai’i County Mayor Harry Kim.

The proclamations also continue Hawai‘i’s progress in transitioning away from fossil fuels and builds off a 2015 state law that requires 100 percent of Hawai‘i’s electricity to be generated by renewable sources by 2045.  Hawai‘i’s 2045 goal was the nation’s first such benchmark.

“It is our shared kuleana to reduce our emissions, no matter how big or small our communities may be,” stated Mayor Bernard Carvalho, Jr.  “It is an ambitious goal, but by bringing everyone to the table to work together, we can achieve 100 percent affordable, safe, renewable transportation by 2045.”

The four Hawaiʻi mayors join leaders in France, Great Britain, India, China, Dublin, Madrid, Oslo, Milan, Paris, and Brussels who have also committed to transition their transportation systems away from fossil fuels.

“Hōkūleʻa’s voyage around the world was dangerous, but the risk of inaction outweighed the risk of the voyage,” said Nainoa Thompson.  “The call of Mālama Honua is being answered today by these four mayors who are continuing the legacy of the voyage and showing the world what local climate leadership looks like.”

Local businesses and clean energy organizations applauded the historic action by the four mayors.

“This initiative will spark innovation and entrepreneurship in our state,” said Sherry Menor-McNamara, President and CEO of the Chamber of Commerce Hawaiʻi.  “We’ve seen how the renewable energy revolution in electricity has grown jobs and helped keep over $300 million every year in the local economy.”

“We commend the vision of these leaders in setting the course for Hawaiʻi’s sustainable transportation future,” said Jeff Mikulina, Executive Director of Blue Planet Foundation.  “This goal has been one of the missing pieces in our clean energy puzzle.”

“I am proud to be here today to share in this historic announcement,” said Jodi Malinoski, Sierra Club O‘ahu Group Coordinator. “This commitment to zero-emission buses and electric vehicles is integral to healthy, livable communities and will ensure a more just and equitable transition to a clean energy future.”

Background

While imported petroleum use for electricity generation has been decreasing over the past decade, due to the success of the public-private partnership to achieve a 100 percent renewable electrical grid by 2045, gasoline and diesel use in vehicles has grown in recent years.

The proclamations signed today by the chief executives of the four counties are in alignment with the state of Hawai‘i’s recent commitment to the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement that seeks to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and keep global warming below 1.5 degrees Celsius.

All four mayors previously joined Governor David Ige on June 5, 2017 to commit to uphold the Paris Climate Agreement just days after President Donald J. Trump announced he would withdraw the United States from the international accord to address global warming.

More recently, Mayor Caldwell returned from the North American Climate Summit last week where he signed the Chicago Climate Charter and met with former President Barack Obama, who encouraged U.S. mayors and local governments to lead the country in meeting the Paris Climate Agreement goals.

The City and County of Honolulu was recently selected by 100 Resilient Cities, pioneered by the Rockefeller Foundation, to be part of an international cohort of cities addressing the increased stresses and shocks of the 21st century.  The city will be developing a “Resilience Strategy” in 2018 that will include how best to address climate change challenges on Oʻahu.  Nainoa Thompson serves as a member of the Mayor’s Resilience Strategy Steering Committee.

-END-


O‘ahu Group Coordinator Jodi Malinoski with Joshua Stanbro, Executive Director and Chief Resilience Officer for Honolulu’s Office of Climate Change, Sustainability, and Resiliency

Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell, Maui County Mayor Alan Arakawa, Kauaʻi County Mayor Bernard P. Carvalho Jr., Hawaiʻi County Managing Director Wil Okabe, and Honolulu Councilmember Joey Manahan, joined by Master Navigator Nainoa Thompson in Pōkaʻī Bay on Oʻahu’s Leeward Coast to make the announcement to 100% clean ground transportation by 2045.


What an amazing honor to set foot on mama Hōkūleʻa…

Additional photos from the City and County of Honolulu can be viewed here.

 

Star Advertiser: Navy failed to show at board meetings (Red Hill)

Here are two Star Advertiser letters to the editor regarding the US Navy no-showing at Neighborhood Board meetings to give their Red Hill presentation. These letters were published on December 8, 2017 and December 10, 2017. Mahalo board members Josh Frost (Palolo Neighborhood Board) and Linda Wong  (Diamond Head/Kapahulu/St. Louis Heights Neighborhood Board) for submitting these letters to the editor:


Star Advertiser: Navy should start relocating Red Hill tanks

EDITORIALISLAND VOICES
Honolulu Star-Advertiser, December 10, 2017
By Marti Townsend

If our enemies poisoned our drinking water, we would all be up in arms. But when the U.S. Navy pollutes our groundwater, it expects us to accept it in the name of national security. We should not and do not accept this. While national security is imperative, clean drinking water, in times of peace and in times of war, is crucial to the well-being of all. It must be protected, period.

The U.S. Navy’s World War II-era fuel tanks at Red Hill store millions of gallon of petroleum and sit only one hundred feet above Oahu’s primary groundwater aquifer.

In his column, “Red Hill 4 years later: Drinking water safe” (Star-Advertiser, Island Voices, Dec. 6), the newly installed Rear Adm. Brian Fort describes the Red Hill facility as “an amazing engineering wonder.” The only thing “amazing” about the Red Hill facility is that within five years of its construction, it was already leaking massive amounts of petroleum into our groundwater.

According to a Sept. 10, 1948, memorandum to the Public Works Office of Pearl Harbor, Tank No. 16 “was leaking at the rate of approximately 13 barrels per day.” In May 1949, Bechtel Corporation measured leak rates of 37 barrels per day. Amazing. All told, a conservative estimate based on naval reports puts the total petroleum products leaked at over 200,000 gallons since 1943.

In January 2014, the Navy admitted to spilling 27,000 more gallons of fuel into the ground.

Our Board of Water Supply cautions that the “amount of petroleum contamination in the groundwater underneath Tank 5 is rising.” Total petroleum hydrocarbons have measured as high as 6,300 micrograms per liter in the groundwater underneath the Red Hill fuel tanks. The state Health Department calls for action at far lower amounts of contamination: 400 micrograms per liter. Benzene, a carcinogen, is also being detected in wells near the Red Hill facility.

The Health Department admitted that storing up to 187 million gallons of fuel, a mere 100 feet above Oahu’s drinking water resource, is “inherently dangerous.” In a 2014 report to the Legislature, the Health Department argued that the operation of this facility should only exist on the condition that the facility “be upgraded with secondary containment,” but the state has refused to enforce this standard.

The U.S. Navy admits to already spending more than $200 million on “modernization” of this facility, and still there is no guarantee that it won’t leak again or that if it does they could clean it up.

Looking at these facts, it is amazing this situation has been allowed to continue for so long.

The rear admiral’s platitudes to trust the Navy rings hollow in the context of repeated sub-standard work product delivered as part of the current consent decree, emphasis on secretive non-disclosure agreements over transparency and good data gathering, and multiple missed neighborhood board meetings.

Given the close proximity of the Red Hill fuel tanks to our aquifer, the amount of petroleum that has already leaked, and the alarming amount of fuel still stored at Red Hill, the Navy should be working to relocate these tanks now.

It is frustrating the Navy appears to be spending more time and money on public relations to defend a bad idea whose time has passed, than on investigating better ways to store its fuel.

Efforts to defend U.S. national security should not pose an inherent threat to the safety of Hawaii’s public health and natural resources.

Star Advertiser: LED fixtures in city street lights dangerously bright, Sierra Club says

By Gordon Y.K. Pang

The Sierra Club’s Oahu Group on Friday said the LED fixtures the city chose for its approximately 53,500 street lights across Oahu are “bluer” and more harmful than more technologically advanced LEDs now on the market.

“We met with the city over a year ago and advised them to avoid the use of the much bluer 4000K and 3000K lighting,” the Oahu Group of the Sierra Club said in a statement.

Robert Kroning, the city’s director of design and construction, said the city is discussing the concerns with contractor Johnson Controls. When the city solicited proposals for the project in 2016, 2700K lights were not commercially available.

The Oahu group said that the blue light component of the fixtures chosen by the city “has been scientifically proven to decrease night vision, make it more difficult for people to sleep and hurt their health, severely and adversely affect night-flying seabirds and greatly increase the sky brightness to the detriment of astronomy on Hawaii island and sky gazers on Oahu.”

Kevin Jim, an astronomer and physicist who volunteers with the Sierra Club, said Los Angeles is now requiring most new lighting be 2700K after it made the same mistake, he said.

Kroning said the city has learned that the contractor’s manufacturer recently made available 2700K lights. “We are having the contractor examine the new 2700K LED street lights to see if they meet the requirements of the request for proposals in both energy savings and in illumination of our roadways,” he said. “If they do, we may make the change to a 2700K fixture.”

Kroning said he’s comfortable with the 3000K fixtures, which will be used in 90 percent of the lamps “since the blue light component difference between 3000K and 2700K light is quite small.”

Mayor Kirk Caldwell announced the conversions Thursday, saying the city does not need to pay any of the $46.6 million in costs upfront and that the lights will pay for themselves within 10 years and then start saving the city about $5 million annually.

Support for Bill 1 (2017)- Ko‘olauloa Sustainable Communities Plan

Below is the Sierra Club O‘ahu Group’s organizational testimony in support for Bill 1 (2017)- the Ko‘olauloa Sustainable Communities Plan:



We also created this social media graphic which we shared with our allies in Ko‘olauloa, sent to our O‘ahu Group email list, and posted to our Facebook page:

“Please submit testimony in SUPPORT for Bill 1 (2017) and attend the special Planning Committee meeting on November 29th, 6:30 PM, at Hau‘ula Elementary School’s cafeteria. Bill 1 (2017) updates the Ko‘olauloa Sustainable Communities Plan and helps guide future development on O‘ahu. This bill preserves the rural character of Ko‘olauloa (Northeastern O‘ahu from Ka‘a‘awa to Kahuku) and omits the “Envision La‘ie” development project proposal. We must preserve our remaining agricultural lands on O‘ahu and concentrate development within the urban core. Read the meeting agenda and submit testimony at: bit.ly/koolauloa


News Coverage for the meeting:

Civil Beat Article: http://www.civilbeat.org/2017/11/temple-of-boom-mormon-church-north-shore-housing-plans-hit-roadblock/

Star-Advertiser: http://www.staradvertiser.com/2017/11/29/hawaii-news/malaekahana-development-to-be-discussed-in-meeting/

Star Advertiser: Many hurdles ahead in farming our land

EDITORIAL| INSIGHT

By Maureen O’Connell
November 19, 2017

Stepping up local food production in our island state is a sensible goal. With greater access to fresh, homegrown products, Hawaii could reap economic, environmental and health gains. What’s more, a more robust production could leave us less vulnerable to shortages tied to natural disaster, such as the likes of Hurricane Maria’s hammering of Puerto Rico.

However, challenges accompanying more food production are daunting due to geography-related constraints on farming as well as labor and technology snags, and an escalating demand to plant affordable homes here.

Last fall, when Gov. David Ige addressed the the IUCN World Conservation Congress — an environmental convention held in Honolulu — he announced his “Sustainable Hawai‘i Initiative.” In addition to more protection of watersheds, nearshore waters and various other green-focused objectives, Ige’s plan includes an aim to double Hawaii’s food production by 2020.

So far, that goal is yielding more aspirations than measurable operations.

While the state has a fairly recent fix on commercial crop acreage, it lacks firm figures on how much food is being produced locally versus what’s imported. Agency efforts to hold onto the latter baseline slipped away amid state government’s Great Recession budgetary cuts. Industry researchers estimate that Hawaii imports roughly 90 percent of our food.

Supporters of the call for more local production and greater food security, such as Honolulu’s Ulupono Initiative, an investment firm specializing in environmental sustainability, maintain that while the governor’s 2020 goal is now likely unrealistic, given still-steep hurdles, the push forward should continue.

Among the hurdles is development of a new baseline for measuring local food production.

At this time last year, the state was working with Ulupono Initiative to come up with an online food metrics platform aimed at providing policymakers with a clear statewide picture of food imports and exports. The Agriculture Department spent $90,000 on the computer program, with Ulupono contributing a $160,000 grant. But after long delays in subsequently contracted work that failed to meet the state’s needs, the Agriculture Department pulled the plug.

The state agency is now attempting to address the matter through other efforts. Amy Hennessey, an Ulupono Initiative spokeswoman, said: “We are hopeful this work is continued in some way in the future because the state needs to better understand the total volumes and kinds of food produced locally so that gaps and areas for improvement can be identified.”

Commercial ag charted

The state is faring better with the hurdle of charting commercial agricultural land use. Last year, the Agriculture Department released maps pinpointing farming and ranching operations — the first such update since a 1980 survey.

Done under a contract with the University of Hawaii-Hilo’s Spatial Data Analysis and Visualization Lab, the satellite-based mapping underscores dramatic change in the state’s agricultural profile over the past several decades, with the passing of longstanding sugar and pineapple production.

In 1980 there was a total of 350,830 acres in crop production statewide, 85 percent of which was either sugar or pineapple. By 2015, when the baseline update was completed, total acreage had dropped to 151,830, with just 28 percent dedicated to those two crops. While sugar remained dominant in 2015, with 38,810 acres, most of that land is now fallow following the shuttering of Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar Company on Maui late last year.

Today, Hawaii’s current top crops — seed production, commercial forestry and macadamia nuts — are grown primarily for export purposes. The bulk of emerging diversified acreage, which is planted with varieties of leaf, root and melon crops, are consumed locally. Farm land dedicated to those foods increased to 16,904 acres from 7,490 acres.

Accounting for more than three-fourths of the total commercial acreage is pasture land. Its tally in 2015 (761,429 acres) was down from 1.1 million acres in 1980. The decrease, according to the Agriculture Department, is due in large part to removal of remote lands from pasture use by landowners such as Kamehameha Schools and the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands as well as acquisition of pasture properties by the National Park system, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the U.S. Army.

Noting that drop and the doubling of diversified crops, Hunter Heaivilin, a member of the Sierra Club’s Oahu executive committee, said: “We support expanding food production locally, but in determining where state efforts should be directed, it is important to consider market and land use trends.”

He said the state should be careful to avoid focusing primarily on large-scale operations in attempts to “move the needle” on growing our own food production, whether that’s farming or ranching. Such focus, Heaivilin said, “ignores the contributions of numerous small and mid-size producers entering and already in the marketplace.”

Industry subsidies?

The Hawaii Farm Bureau contends all forms of agriculture should be tapped for growth. But progress will be slow-going unless the Legislature bumps up ag funding, which now adds up to less than 1 percent of the state’s budget, said the bureau’s president, Randy Cabral.

“We need more investments in water infrastructure, drought mitigation, disease and pest research, marketing, transportation and strategies for dealing with labor shortages,” Cabral said. “It is easy to say what needs to be done. Placing agriculture as a priority … will require serious commitment. Infrastructure and capacity-building are critical along with a pragmatic position about advancement of agriculture.”

When asked to respond to a counter-argument that any subsidy of commercial agriculturalists should come from the private sector rather than taxpayers, Cabral said, “As a business, farming and ranching have risks like every other business. However, unlike most other businesses, we have to deal with bad weather, drought, pests and diseases.”

He continued, “We subsidize the tourism industry. We subsidize our film industry. Investments in agriculture is an investment in the very core business of a society. … Even as we live in a global economy, natural disasters and pestilence can isolate us easily as an island state. At that time, it will be too late to regrow agriculture.​ All other industries have the capacity to thrive with a strong agriculture base. Agriculture will not automatically thrive due to a strong film industry.​”

Growing new farmers

Another local food hurdle: growing a new generation of agriculturalists. The average age of a farmer in Hawaii is 60, according to federal data.

In response, the Farm Bureau has introduced state legislation and supports initiatives stressing ag education programs, ranging from Future Farmers of America to 4-H. And Ulupono backs workforce-growing projects. For instance, Hennessey said, it has partnered with Kamehameha Schools to provide grants to Go Farm Hawaii, which provides training for beginning to advanced level farmers.

In addition, she said, “We collaborate with a number of funders statewide including the Kokua Hawaii Foundation to provide support for programs that bring agriculture education and school gardens to schools across Hawaii, increasing appreciation and consumer demand for local food among children and their families.”

The Sierra Club’s Heaivilin said new farmers and training programs are key to future sustainability success as the demand for local produce is now outstripping supply.

Tethered to supply-and-demand concerns, according to the nonprofit, is the “suburbanization” of productive farmland, with Castle & Cooke Hawaii’s Koa Ridge housing development — poised for construction on what had been designated by the state as prime farmland in Central Oahu — serving as the latest example.

The 768-acre site will be covered with 3,500 homes, with 30 percent reserved for sorely needed affordable to moderate-income housing. To offset the ag loss, alternative land was provided for farming operations. Heaivilin said, “This type of approach, called ‘development-supported agriculture,’ has been growing across the country, but our land use and other laws do little to ensure that lands will remain in agriculture in the long term.”

In the case of Koa Ridge, the alternative ag land arrangement has prompted a deal through which the newly acquired land may be divided into for-sale “ag lots” — and that houses may be built on them.

Cabral said as local food production increases, so should policy-related vigilance. “Urban growth boundaries should be established … to protect farmers on the fringe of development,” he said. “Farmers should not continuously be required to defend their right to farm if local food production is a state priority.”

Regarding the challenge of balancing agriculture with other land development, Ulupono’s Hennessey added: “In order to have the ability to produce our own food, we must work to preserve agricultural lands as much as possible and find ways to harmonize development with meaningful food production so that they can peacefully coexist as in years past.”

Star-Advertiser: Council committee defers ban on foam containers

By Gordon Y.K. Pang
November 16, 2017

A Honolulu City Council committee on Wednesday deferred a bill that would bar food vendors from using polystyrene foam food containers and require them to instead use compostable ones.

The decision to defer Bill 71 was met with anger and frustration from representatives of several environmental groups.

Public Works, Infrastructure and Sustainability Committee Chairwoman Carol Fukunaga said there still appeared to be many concerns with the measure from various sides.

After the meeting, she said in an interview that she doesn’t intend to shelve the bill indefinitely.

“We’re going to have further discussions with the Department of Environmental Services, all the environmental organizations and the food industry folks and see what we can do with Bill 71,” Fukunaga said. If the discussions lead to the need for a new bill, “then we’ll move forward on that.”

When Fukunaga made her recommendation in committee, none of her colleagues raised objections and she moved onto the next item on the agenda. Deferrals at the committee level generally don’t include a formal vote, but several environmentalists criticized her for not conducting a vote.

Earlier this year, Council members deferred Bill 59 (2016), a measure to get rid of loopholes in the plastic bag ban, also citing the need to find a compromise to appease different stakeholders.

More than 40 people testified Wednesday on Bill 71, which was introduced by Councilwoman Kymberly Pine. By about a 3-1 margin, people spoke in favor of a ban on foam containers.

The Rev. Phillip Harmon, founder of the nonprofit Kahu­mana, said the organization serves food at its farm and cafe on bio-­compostable materials that will break down into soil. “Initially, about five years ago, it added about 20 cents to every meal we produced,” Harmon said. “Five years later, it’s 11 cents. ”

Additionally, “it doesn’t leak; it’s designed to accept the oil and grease from whatever the meal is,” he said.

Several other restaurateurs, as well as environmental groups, testified that not only is styrene, a key chemical in foam containers, harmful to animals and the environment, it’s unhealthy for humans as well.

Beach Environmental Awareness Campaign Hawai‘i co-founder Dean Otsuki said, “Styrene has been linked to cancer, vision and hearing loss, impaired memory and concentration, and nervous system effects. … The chemicals accumulate in your body … and that’s when you get into trouble.”

David Acheson of the Honpa Hongwanji Mission of Hawaii said the organization’s various temples are trying to convert to using only reusables and recyclables. At his own temple, members are being encouraged to bring their own cups, utensils and plates. “This is the way we’re heading,” he said. “We’re not there yet. … It’s a journey.”

The Hawaii Food Industry Association, the Retail Merchants Association and Malama 808, a group composed of restaurateurs and merchants billed as dedicated to ridding Hawaii of litter, testified against the bill.

Lauren Zirbel of the Hawaii Food Industry Association said requiring compostable food containers would “provide no positive upside to the environment” because they don’t go to a composting facility, but would increase costs for businesses and, ultimately, consumers.

Even commonly used egg containers and meat trays would be banned under the bill, she said. “This is a huge cost.”

Jason Higa, president of FCH Enterprises, the parent company of Zippy’s Restaurants, said his restaurants switched to Type 5 polypropylene containers, which are microwave-safe, in 2010 in response to customer feedback.

Higa said he’s most troubled with the bill’s requirement that restaurants use compostable containers, something his company explored last year. “Our biggest concern with compostable containers is from a safety standpoint. … The integrity of that container is an issue for employees as well as our customers.”

About 10 employees of KYD Inc., a local manufacturer of disposable containers, testified that they may lose their jobs if the bill is passed.

In related news, the committee also deferred Bill 73, which attempts to tackle littering through education by providing incentives for nonprofits to help.

Bill 71 (2017)- Ban of expanded polystyrene foam food containers

In October and November 2017, the O‘ahu Group and coalition partners from the Kōkua Hawai‘i Foundation and Surfrider Foundation met with Councilmember Pine (bill introducer) and Councilmember Fukunaga (Committee Chair) to discuss O‘ahu’s proposed foam ban. We submitted the following testimony in support of O‘ahu’s foam ban. Click here to read Bill 71 (2017) and its current status.


Resolution 17-284 to Curb Toxic Herbicide Use

Mahalo to the O‘ahu Group’s Conservation Chair, Leilei Joy Shih, for submitting this insightful testimony in support of Resolution 17-284.


UPDATE: Resolution 17-284 CD1 is up for adoption at the December 6th, full Council meeting. Please submit online testimony in support by December 5th. You can read the meeting agenda and submit online testimony HERE.