“Healthy citizens are the greatest asset any country can have.” – Winston Churchill
The legislative session opened January 16th and LICH is tracking and testifying on 11 legislative bills that could benefit or harm our island environment and the landscape industry. The bills propose changes to the laws for nuisance trees, leaf blowers, landscape architect’s license, graywater usage, permeable paving and irrigation water conservation.
As an expert on these issues, legislators want to hear from you on these important issues. If not you, then who? It’s up to each of us to be engaged and take time during the legislative session too weigh in on these issues.
LICH is testifying on the legislative bills below. By the time you receive this magazine these bills may have changed or died.
LICH supports the following bills:
- GRAY WATER – Senate Bill 454
Encourages the department of health and the counties to promote widespread use of gray water in the interests of water conservation. Clarifies that guidelines for the use of gray water for irrigation purposes shall be liberally construed so as to allow widespread use of gray water. LICH Supports Senate Bill 454 with the amendment to exempt single-family residential use from permit requirements for washer water usage.
- WATER CONSERVATION BMPS – House Bill 1017 & Senate Bill 803
Establishes a one-year pilot program requiring DAGS, DOT, and DLNR to implement irrigation water conservation best management practices, as established by the Landscape Industry Council of Hawaii. LICH Supports House Bill 1017 and Senate Bill 803.
- PERMEABLE PAVING – House Bill 1394 and Senate Bill 1305
Establishes an income tax credit for taxpayers who maintain permeable surfaces on their property. Permits a taxpayer to deduct from state income taxes the costs of certifying an organic agricultural operation or determining a qualifying property’s net water infiltration. LICH supports House Bill 1394 and Senate Bill 1305.
LICH opposes the following bills:
- NUISANCE TREES – House Bill 69.
Codifies civil liability for nuisance trees. Endangers all property line trees statewide with civil liability language including “…an overhanging branch that drops leaves, flowers, or fruit shall be deemed to constitute a danger or cause damage for purposes of this section.” LICH opposes House Bill 69.
- LEAF BLOWERS – House Bill 1041
Restricts the use of leaf blowers to two hours between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. on any day. Makes it illegal to operate a gasoline powered leaf blower within a residential zone unless the operator is personnel of a licensed business.
LICH Opposes House Bill 1041.
- LANDSCAPE ARCHITECT LICENSE – House Bill 326 and Senate Bill 57
Requires professional architects, engineers, land surveyors, and landscape architects to present a tax clearance certificate to licensing agency prior to issuance or renewal of the license. LICH Opposes House Bill 326 and Senate Bill 57. LICH was instrumental in getting both of these bills to be deferred and probably will not be heard again this year.
- GLYPHOSATE – Senate Bill 648 & 649
Prohibits the sale, distribution, transfer, and use of pesticides containing glyphosate (RoundUp herbicide active ingredient) for cosmetic application. LICH Opposes Senate Bills 648 & 649.
Ready to give it a try? Providing input has never been easier than now. You can testify at a hearing or just submit testimony online. Online testimony can be as a simple as just saying “Support” or “Oppose.” First, check our FaceBook page at http://facebook.com/hawaiiscape for the latest news on which bills are being heard. Then visit http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov, search for the bill (i.e. HC69), click on button near top “Submit Testimony”, and complete a seven question form. In 5 minutes, you will shape our island’s future by sharing your expertise on issues that are important to you.
Chris Dacus is a landscape architect and arborist for the Hawaii Department of Transportation and the president of LICH.