Wednesday, May 4, 2011
Governor signs HB865
New law increases freight fees to fund fight against invasive species
Governor Neil Abercrombie today signed House Bill 865 into law – a bill that increases the fee on the net weight of imported freight in order to strengthen the state's invasive species programs, including the improvement of inspections at airports and harbors.
The new law increases the fee from 50-cents to 75-cents for every 1,000 pounds of freight, or part thereof, brought into the state. The legislature determined that, due to insufficient funds, the state is unable to adequately inspect imports that may contain prohibited items and to stop the spread of invasive species throughout Hawaii. The increased funding will go toward programs on the inspection, quarantine and eradication of invasive species.
"Hawaii does not have adequate resources to fight invasive species, and this new law will help provide the funds needed by our state agencies," said Rep. Clift Tsuji, Chair of the House Agriculture Committee. "The threat of invasive species to our environment has become very serious. If we don't increase our inspection and eradication activities, our natural environment will rapidly deteriorate. This is an important bill because the spread of pests like the coqui frog and others will negatively impact our economy and quality of life."
The bill takes effect immediately upon approval.