Monday, November 3, 2008

Rep Herkes outlines Vog report recommendations

The Hawaii Tribune Herald published this story Sunday outlining the recommendations of the House Special Committee on Vog Effects. The headline zeroes in on the recommendation for Hawaii County to provide property tax relief for farmers whose crops have been damaged by vog.

Chair Herkes, however, believe the most urgent need is for a 24-7 central point of contact:

"There needs to be a clearinghouse, open 24-7, staffed by people who are here and can talk about health effects, air conditioning, water filtering and agricultural effects. That just isn't being provided," said Herkes (D-Puna, Ka'u, Kona). "Information is just being passed anecdotally from group to group."

The Department of Health should retrofit hospitals with vog filters, and health insurance companies should cover the cost of air filters for qualified individuals. The DOH should also develop a more efficient system for collecting health data so the effects of vog can be determined, the report says.

The full report is available on the capitol website:

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