Thursday, June 19, 2008

First hearing on VOG Effects tomorrow

The House Special Committee on VOG Effects will hold the first of a series of fact-finding meetings to examine the effects of VOG from the eruption of Halemaumau. This first briefing will focus on the public's health and safety; future meetings will address agriculture, water quality, pets and animals, wildlife, and other areas.

After an opening statement from Rep. Robert Herkes, Committee Chair, Jim Kauahikaua, scientist in charge at Hawaiian Volcano Observatory will start the presentations.

WHEN: Friday, June 20, 2008, 9:00 a.m.

WHERE: Hawaii State Capitol, Conference Room 325

**No public testimony will be accepted. The purpose of these hearings are to gather information in order to provide the public with the necessary facts on VOG effects and precautionary steps to take against the possibly harmful effects of long-term exposure to VOG.

Committee members include Rep. Dwight Takamine, District 1 (North Kohala, South Kohala, Hamakua, North Hilo, South Hilo); Rep. Jerry Chang, District 2 (South Hilo, Waiakea Kai, Kaumana, Keaukaha); Rep. Clift Tsuji, District 3 (South Hilo, Panaewa, Puna, Keaau, Kurtistown); Rep. Faye Hanohano, District 4 (Puna, Pahoa, Hawaiian Acres, Kalapana); Rep. Robert Herkes, District 5 (Puna, Kau, North Kona, South Kona); Rep. Josh Green, District 6 (North Kona, Keauhou, Kailua-Kona, Honokokau); Rep. Cindy Evans, District 7 (North Kona, South Kohala); and Rep. Lynn Finnegan, District 32 (Lower Pearlridge, Aiea, Halawa, Hickam, Pearl Harbor, Moanalua Gardens).

Agency representatives from the UH Hilo Center for the Study of Active Volcanoes, U.S. Geological Survey Hawaiian Volcano Observatory, Department of Health, Department of Labor and Industrial Relations, Department of Education, Hawaii Health Systems Corporation, County of Hawaii, American Lung Association, HMSA, Kaiser Permanente, and Department of Defense will also join the lawmakers at the hearing to answer questions.

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