lunes, septiembre 01, 2014

Kauaʻi residents and community leaders react

Kauaʻi residents and community leaders respond to federal court ruling in lawsuit by chemical companies: “This Battle is Far From Over”

LIHUE - Kaua‘i residents are outraged by a magistrate judge’s ruling today in the lawsuit brought by four chemical companies against the County of Kauaʻi to block implementation of Ordinance 960 (previously Bill 2491). The magistrate judge, Barry M. Kurren ruled that Ordinance 960 is pre-empted by the state.  An appeal of the ruling is likely.  
Residents see the ruling as a symptom of a broken system: “It’s discouraging to witness the injustices and inadequacies of the American legal system, which in this case has valued and protected corporate profit and trade secrets over people’s simple, basic human right to know what toxic chemicals they are being exposed to in excessive amounts almost daily,” said West Kaua‘i resident Malia Chun. 
Recent revelations that pesticide use by the chemical companies is some of the highest in the nation, and has transformed parts of Kauai into “one of the most toxic chemical environments in all of American agriculture,” (see article) further reinforced the critical need for disclosure laws and buffer zones. The failures of the State to protect health and environment were made abundantly clear in deliberations over Kauai’s Bill 2491 (partly summarized in this article), and residents are infuriated by the blatancy of injustice. Since the passage of Ordinance 960 last November, several groundbreaking studies by respected scientists and health institutions have revealed the links between disease and pesticides applied on Kaua'i.

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