Attorneys to mayor: Sign Bill 2491

LIHUE — A pair of attorneys are calling for Kauai’s mayor to sign Bill 2491 into law.

In a letter Friday to Kauai Mayor Bernard Carvalho, Jr., attorneys Paul Achitoff, of Earthjustice, and George Kimbrell said they would be willing to defend the bill in court should it come to that and urged the mayor to sign it.

Achitoff represents the Honolulu office of Earthjustice, a nonprofit, public interest environmental law firm. Kimbrell is a senior attorney with the Center for Food Safety.

“Earthjustice and the Center for Food Safety would like to reiterate our commitment to defend the bill from any legal interference by the pesticide industry,” the attorneys said in a letter to the mayor. “We are working with interested community groups and individuals on a pro bono basis and are prepared to intervene in the event that the chemical companies challenge the bill in court.”

The controversial bill passed last week, and is aimed at putting restriction on large companies that use pesticides.

Carvalho preferred the county defer the matter.

After the county passed it, the mayor said he would have to review it fully before deciding whether to sign it. It reached his desk late last week.

Carvalho could veto it, but the council could override that veto. Carvalho declined to comment on the attorneys’ letter, but said through a spokesman he is still awaiting a legal briefing from the County Attorney and has all options on the table.

He said he does support the intent of 2491 as it relates to disclosure, buffer zones and conducting the study as described in the bill.

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