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U.S. EPA settles case for $3,300 against Kamehameha Schools for alleged violation of pesticide permit

Release Date: 09/14/2006
Contact Information: Dean Higuchi, 808-541-2711, higuchi.dean@epa.gov

(09/14/06) HONOLULU – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today has reached a settlement for $3,300 with Kamehameha Schools for the improper use of a rodenticide within the Keauhou forest region on the Big Island, in violation of federal pesticide laws.

The EPA asserts that Kamehameha Schools failed to comply with the conditions set forth in an EPA experimental use permit. The permit authorized the limited aerial application of the pesticide Eaton’s Bait Pellet Rodenticide with Fish Flavorizer for the control of invasive species, such as mongoose and rats for wildlife conservation purposes.

Kamehameha Schools, together with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, apparently set ground bait traps in violation of the permit’s provisions. As a result of the pesticide’s non-permitted use inside bait traps, at least 12 non-targeted wild pigs were killed in addition to the targeted rat and mongoose populations.

“Although Kamehameha Schools may have had well-meaning intentions behind its use of the pesticide, it violated federal pesticide law by using a pesticide contrary to the provisions of the experimental use permit,” said Enrique Manzanilla, the EPA’s Communities and Ecosystems Division director for the Pacific Southwest Region.

Under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act, an experimental use permit is required for the testing of any unregistered pesticide. The experimental use permit spells out conditions for how and when a specific pesticide can be used. Using a pesticide in a way that does not comply with the permit is not only a violation, but can pose risks to the public and the environment.

As a result of this enforcement action, a notice of warning has also been issued by the EPA to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Wildlife Services, for its role in assisting with the ground application of the pesticide.

The enforcement action is based upon inspections conducted by the Hawaii Department of Agriculture in late 2003.

For more information on pesticide regulation and enforcement, please visit the EPA’s Web site at: http://www.epa.gov/pesticides/

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