Press Releases

Hawaii Legislators introduce bipartisan bill to ban sunscreens containing ingredients not considered “Safe and Effective” by the FDA

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, January 30, 2020
Senate Contact: Jesse Broder Van Dyke
Office: 808-586-6261
House Contact: Carolyn Tanaka
Office: 808-586-6133 Cell: 808-381-7752

Hawaii Legislators introduce bipartisan bill to ban sunscreens containing ingredients not considered “Safe and Effective” by the FDA
Builds on 2018 reef-safe law to include human health concerns raised in recent FDA studies

HONOLULU - Members of the Hawai‘i State Senate and House of Representatives introduced a bipartisan bill to ban all sunscreen SPF products that are not “General Recognized as Safe and Effective” by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration.

In the Senate, SB2278 was introduced by Senators Mike Gabbard, Gil Riviere, Russell Ruderman, Sharon Moriwaki, and Clarence Nishihara. In the House, HB2248 was introduced by Representatives Gene Ward, Rida Cabanilla Arakawa, Chris Lee, Amy Perruso, David Tarnas, Chris Todd, Tom Brower, Lynn DeCoite, and Dee Morikawa.

This legislation builds upon the 2018 law in which Hawaii banned the sale of sunscreens containing oxybenzone and octinoxate. The 2018 law reduced the impact of sunscreen pollution to Hawai‘i’s coral reefs. Oxybenzone and octinoxate were demonstrated to contaminate much of Hawaii’s coastline at concentrations that are poisonous to coral, fish, sea urchins and algae, as well as marine mammals and sea turtles. Other countries and jurisdictions followed Hawai‘i’s example, implementing their own bans, including Palau, Aruba, Bonaire, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Marshall Islands, and the city of Key West.

“The World Health Organization has stated that chemicals, like sunscreens which the FDA lists as NOT safe for human use, pose a health risk to all living things that have endocrine receptors that regulate hormones,” stated Rep. Ward. “This includes corals and fish, and humans, especially pregnant women.

“This bipartisan bill improves the health of Hawai‘i’s residents and its over 10 million visitors a year,” he said, “as well as all of our treasured marine life.”

This new bill is intended to address concerns about certain sunscreen ingredients on human health. Recent FDA studies have demonstrated potential negative health effects of a number of other ingredients that are still allowed in Hawai‘i.

“Hawai‘i made history in 2018 when we were the first in the world to take action to help protect our coral reefs by creating a law to ban the dangerous chemicals, oxybenzone and octinoxate, from sunscreens,” said Sen. Gabbard. “With SB 2778/HB 2248, we’re taking the next step to protect human health by prohibiting other sunscreen chemicals that the FDA doesn’t consider to be safe.”

On January 21, 2020, Janet Woodcock, M.D., director of the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, said, “To support sunscreen safety, the FDA tested whether various sunscreen ingredients can be absorbed through the skin into the body. Results from our study released today show there is evidence that some sunscreen active ingredients may be absorbed.” She called for further research to determine the health effects. FDA news release (January 21, 2020): FDA announces results from second sunscreen absorption study

According to WebMD, “Previous research has shown that some of the ingredients in the FDA study can disrupt hormones and may lead to fertility problems, poor birth outcomes for babies, and perhaps cancer.” WebMD (January 21, 2020): FDA Sunscreen Report Raises Concern Over Chemicals

Under this legislation, only zinc oxide and titanium dioxide sunscreens would be allowed to be sold in Hawai‘i, as these are the only two ingredients that are “General Recognized as Safe and Effective” by the FDA.

Fourteen other ingredients would be banned. PABA and Trolamine were determined to be NOT safe for over-the-counter use. Twelve other ingredients the FDA said there was not enough data to determine if the health risks of being exposed to these drugs outweigh the benefits, or whether these drugs are actually effective in reducing UV-exposure. This includes oxybenzone and octinoxate which were banned in 2018, and homosalate, avobenzone, and octocrylene which are currently allowed to be sold in Hawai‘i.

CNN (January 21, 2020): Seven sunscreen chemicals enter bloodstream after one use, FDA says, but don't abandon sun protection

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BIPARTISAN BILL TO BAN CERTAIN SUNSCREENS

MEDIA ADVISORY – SENATE AND HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
January 29, 2020 - For immediate release

Senate Contact: Jesse Broder Van Dyke
Office: 808-586-6261
House Contact: Carolyn Tanaka
Office: 808-586-6133 Cell: 808-381-7752

WHO: Senator Mike Gabbard and Representative Gene Ward (other legislators who co-sponsored the bill may also appear)
Other participants will include Lisa Bishop, Friends of Hanauma Bay; Cindi Punihaole, Executive Director of the Kohala Center’s Kahalu‘u Bay Education Center; Mendy Dant, Executive Vice President, Fair Wind Cruises Kona Sunrise Charters; members of the Kaiser High School Wipeout Crew, and Joe DiNardo, Research Scientists Emeritus and retired toxicologist

WHAT: Discussion of bipartisan bill, SB 2778, to ban all sunscreen SPF products that are not “Generally Recognized as Safe and Effective” (GRSE) by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA)

WHEN: 2 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 30, 2020

WHERE: State Capitol Rotunda

This legislation builds upon the 2018 law in which Hawai‘i banned the sale of sunscreens containing oxybenzone and octinoxate, which will go into effect on January 1, 2021.
This new bill is intended to address concerns about certain sunscreen ingredients on human health. Recent FDA studies have demonstrated potential negative health effects of a number of other ingredients that are still allowed in Hawai‘i.
Under this legislation, only zinc oxide and titanium dioxide sunscreens would be allowed to be sold in Hawai‘i, as these are the only two ingredients that are “Generally Recognized as Safe and Effective” by the FDA.

Link to SB 2778: https://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/measure_indiv.aspx?billtype=SB&billnumber...

Links to informational graphics in relation to news conference:
Sources of Oxybenzone Contamination: file:///C:/Users/sencomm1.CAPITOL/Desktop/Oxybenzone%20contamination-toxicities_Print.pdf
Sunscreen Chemicals and Marine Life (Courtesy NOAA): https://oceanservice.noaa.gov/news/sunscreen-corals.html

A hearing on SB 2778 by the Senate Committee on Agriculture and Environment will be held at 1:30 p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2020, in room 224.

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Senator Gabbard and Representative Takumi lead national, bipartisan effort to phase out corporate giveaways

HAWAIʻI STATE LEGISLATURE
STATE CAPITOL

NEWS RELEASE
For immediate release
Tuesday, January 28, 2020
House Contact: Carolyn Tanaka
Office: 808-586-6133 Cell: 808-381-7752
Senate Contact: Jesse Broder Van Dyke
Office: 808-586-6261

Today, legislators from around the country are unveiling a national bipartisan campaign to phase out corporate giveaways by establishing an interstate compact. This bold proposal seeks to liberate states from feeling like they have to participate in subsidy battles with other states, like the AmazonHQ2 process last year, by having states join together.

In Hawai‘i, the bills have been introduced as SB2751 by Senator Mike Gabbard and as HB 1610 by Representative Roy Takumi.

As of today (January 28), the legislation has also been introduced in New York, Florida, Illinois, West Virginia and New Hampshire.

"This legislation is a good example of the aloha spirit in action and doing things in a pono way", Senator Gabbard stated. "We should help end the practice of cities and states using tax dollars to lure big corporations to relocate there. This only makes these corporations richer at the expense of other communities who end up losing those jobs."

"The spirit of the free market economy cannot exist when corporations monopolize through government subsidies," said Representative Takumi. "A unified front to phase out corporate welfare is necessary to support every day citizens and small business."

The legislation would bring each state into a formal agreement with other states to Phase Out Corporate Giveaways. There are two main provisions of the agreement. First, member states agree to end the practice of offering tax breaks to a facility located in another member state as an inducement to the company to move. Second, member states participate in a national board of appointees to discuss and propose enhancements to the existing agreement for future consideration by each state.

A similar bipartisan agreement among the governors of Missouri and Kansas reached over the summer to end corporate giveaways for companies moving within their shared Kansas City region demonstrates the shifting winds on using company-specific subsidies as an economic development policy.

Please see EndTaxGiveaways.org for links to the legislation in other states as well as the names of legislators who are supporting the effort.

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Legislature to hold biosecurity briefing

MEDIA ADVISORY

For immediate release
Friday, January 17, 2020
House Contact: Carolyn Tanaka
Office: 808-586-6133 Cell: 808-381-7752
Senate Contact: Jesse Broder Van Dyke
Office: 808-586-6261

Honolulu – The Senate Committee on Agriculture and Environment, Chaired by Senator Mike Gabbard, the House Committee on Energy and Environmental Protection, Chaired by Representative Nicole E. Lowen, and the House Committee on Agriculture, Chaired by Representative Richard P. Creagan, will hold a joint informational briefing to get an update on Hawai‘i's Interagency Biosecurity Plan.

The briefing will take place on Tuesday, January 21, 2020 at 12:30 p.m. in Hawai‘i State Capitol conference room 229. The Department of Agriculture will be setting up tables outside the hearing with live invasive species specimens.

The hearing will be televised live on ‘Olelo channel 49, and will be aired via tape delay on the neighbor islands. The hearing can also be watched live online at https://olelo.org/49

Link to the Biosecurity Plan: http://hdoa.hawaii.gov/blog/main/biosecurityplan/

Presentations will be made by:

* Hawai‘i Invasive Species Council
* Department of Land and Natural Resources, Division of Forestry and Wildlife and Division of Aquatic Resources
* Department of Agriculture
* Department of Health, Vector Control Branch
* University of Hawai‘i, College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources
* Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism, Office of Planning
* Department of Transportation

LEGISLATIVE COMMITTEES TO RECEIVE UPDATE ON INTERAGENCY BIOSECURITY PLAN

The Senate Committee on Agriculture & Environment, along with the House Committees on Agriculture and Energy & Environmental Protection, will receive a multi-agency briefing on the Hawaii Interagency Biosecurity Plan.

WHO:
Senate Committee on Agriculture and the Environment

House Committee on Agriculture

House Committee on Energy & Environmental Protection
WHAT:
Update on the Hawaii Interagency Biosecurity Plan
WHEN:
Friday, January 25, 2019

9:30 a.m.
WHERE:
Conference Room 309, State Capitol

415 South Beretania Street

The State of Hawai‘i released the Hawai‘i Interagency Biosecurity Plan for 2017–2027 on January 10, 2017. This Plan is the state's first interagency, coordinated comprehensive plan to tackle the threats and harms from invasive species.

Presentations will be made by:

Hawaii Invasive Species Council

Department of Agriculture

Department of Land and Natural Resources, Division of Forestry and Wildlife and Division of

Aquatic Resources

Department of Health, Vector Control Branch

University of Hawaii, College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources

Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism, Office of Planning

Department of Transportation

The Department of Agriculture's Plant Quarantine Branch will provide examples of invasive species at the briefing.

For more information: https://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/session2019/hearingnotices/HEARING_AEN-EE...

Senator Mike Gabbard and Representative Nicole Lowen reintroduce bills to protect Hawaii's sharks and rays

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 18, 2019

Senator Mike Gabbard (Kapolei, Makakilo, portions of Ewa, Kalaeloa, Waipahu), Chair of the Senate Agriculture and Environment Committee, and Representative Nicole Lowen (Kailua-Kona, Holualoa, Kalaoa, Honokohau), Chair of the House Environmental Protection and Energy Committee, have introduced companion measures in their respective chambers that will offer greater protections to Hawaii’s sharks and rays.

The proposals would make it a misdemeanor to knowingly capture, take, possess, abuse, or entangle any shark or ray, whether alive or dead, or kill any shark or ray, within state marine waters. The law would provide exceptions, including those for research, cultural practices and the protection of public safety. Penalties would range from $500 for a first offense to $10,000 for a third or subsequent offense.

While Hawai‘i continues to have the strongest anti-finning law, passed in 2010, which also prohibits the possession of fins, there is no law that explicitly prohibits the intentional killing, capture, abuse or entanglement of sharks or rays.

"As apex predators, sharks and rays help to keep the ocean ecosystem in balance, and protecting them from unnecessary harm is essential to the health of our coral reefs. I'm hopeful that this year will be the year that we are able to take this important step." Said Representative Nicole Lowen.

"Sharks (mano) and Rays (hihimanu) are key marine species, important to the resliency of our oceans. They deserve full protection under law from unnecessary killing or exploitation" said Senator Mike Gabbard.

The recent sighting of "Deep Blue", the largest known Great White shark (mano niuhi), off O‘ahu, is a hopeful sign that this may be the year that Hawai‘i's sharks and rays earn protection from intentional killing.

A similar measure, Senate Bill 2079, passed the Senate unanimously last year with broad public support, including OHA and DLNR, but stalled in the House. This year’s bills await introduction and assignment of new bill numbers.

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CONTACT:

Richard Rapoza
(808) 392-0780
Michi Moore
(808) 586-7148

Senator Mike Gabbard
(808) 586-6830
Representative Nicole Lowen
(808) 586-8400

Senator Mike Gabbard Joins Legislators from Seven Other States to Announce Coordinated Effort to Block Offshore Drilling

NEWS RELEASE –for immediate release
January 8, 2019

Senate Contact: Senator Mike Gabbard 808-586-6830

Honolulu, HI – Honolulu, HI - Today, Senator Mike Gabbard, Chair of the Senate Agriculture and Environment Committee, joined legislators from seven other states in a united effort to protect our coasts from offshore drilling. In March, after the release of the Trump Administration’s Proposed OCS Oil and Gas Leasing Program, over 225 legislators from coastal states raised their voices in opposition. Now, these states are taking action by introducing legislation that would limit any new offshore drilling capabilities off their coasts.

States included Georgia, Hawaii, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Oregon, and Rhode Island.

Senator Gabbard said, "I realize that we won't be the first on banning offshore drilling for fossil fuels, as 5 states have already beat us to the punch. At this point we don't have proven petroleum or natural gas reserves or production, but it’s still important that we join with other states and lead on this important issue. I'm partnering with the National Caucus of Environmental Legislators and will introduce a bill later this month to ban offshore drilling for oil or natural gas in state marine waters. I'm hopeful that our combined legislation efforts will send a message to our current President that it's time to transition away from dirty fossil fuels to renewable energy!"

Legislators understand that an oil spill anywhere is an oil spill everywhere, impacting not just their constituents but everyone who depends on their coasts for income and recreation. Offshore drilling means more greenhouse gas emissions, exacerbating the effects of climate change on their communities.

States are taking action regulating drilling activities and infrastructure within state waters. Coastal tourism, fisheries, shipping, and defense are the underpinning of all U.S. coastal states’ economies. Expanding offshore drilling is a risk these states cannot afford to take.

New Jersey became the first state to ban offshore drilling within state waters last year, followed shortly by actions in Delaware, Maryland, California, and Florida. In 2019, a growing majority of coastal states have continued standing up to protect their coasts.

“These state legislators are committed to protecting the coastlines of the United States, and the safety and livelihood of their constituents,” said Jeff Mauk, Executive Director of the National Caucus of Environmental Legislators. “They understand the economic and environmental importance of our coasts and are standing together against this proposal.”

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HEMP, HEMP HOORAY!

NEWS RELEASE –for immediate release
December 20, 2018

Senate Contact: Senator Mike Gabbard 808-586-6830

HEMP, HEMP HOORAY!

Honolulu, HI – President Trump signed the 2018 Farm Bill into law today, which included removal of industrial hemp from the Schedule 1 Controlled Substance List, thus legalizing it and paving the way for a successful hemp industry in Hawai’i.

Senator Mike Gabbard, Chair of the Senate Agriculture and Environment Committee, said "It's been a long time coming since Governor, Ben Cayetano, declared December 14, 1999 as 'Industrial Hemp Day of Hawai‘i.' Since that time, I've authored four hemp bills that have become law, including Act 228 (2016), which established a 5-year industrial hemp pilot program. Today, there are farmers growing hemp statewide under the pilot program and the potential benefits that this amazing plant offers for our economy, sustainable agriculture, environment, and human health are truly incredible."
"My vision has been for a cottage hemp industry using Hawai‘i branding, with the hula girl underneath the coconut tree and the guy strumming his ‘ukulele... Hāna hemp granola - Hanalei hemp toothpaste - Honolulu hemp aloha shirts - and Hawai‘i Island hemp CBD tincture, are just some of the many products that could be coming our way."

The signing of the 2018 Farm Bill signals a great leap forward for our state and nation in realizing the benefits of keeping an estimated annual $820 million in retail value of hemp products that we can be growing and producing here.

THURSDAY: MAKAKILO-KAPOLEI TOWN HALL

MEDIA ADVISORY
COUNCILMEMBER KYMBERLY MARCOS PINE
DISTRICT ONE
HONOLULU CITY

Tuesday, October 17, 2018
Press Office: x (808) 768-5001

THURSDAY: MAKAKILO-KAPOLEI TOWN HALL

Honolulu City Councilmember Kymberly Marcos Pine will be holding a Makakilo-Kapolei Town Hall meeting, in collaboration with Hawaii State Senator Mike Gabbard on Thursday, October 18 at Island Pacific Academy's Multi-purpose room in Kapolei starting at 6:30pm.
The public is invited to the get together for informative community and legislative updates, participate in a question and answer session for both Pine and Gabbard. There will also be special presentations by Shirley Swinney of HCDA and by Steve Kelly of James Campbell Company who will be giving updates to their community projects.

There will be light refreshments available starting at 6pm. Island Pacific Academy is located at 909 Haumea St. in Kapolei.
For more information, email Councilmember Pine at kmpine@honolulu.gov.

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West Oahu Energy and Electric Vehicle Fair

NEWS RELEASE – For Immediate Release
October 12, 2018

Senate Contact: Sen. Jon Yoshimura 808-586-6360
Sen. Mike Gabbard 808-586-6830
Sen. Glenn Wakai 808-586-8585

Senate Media Contact: Michele Moore 808-586-7148

WEST OʻAHU ENERGY & ELECTRIC VEHICLE FAIR

Learn about new options for residential solar, energy conservation, Hawaiian Electric Company’s West Loch Solar One Project, and popular Electric Vehicles

WHEN:

Saturday, October 13, 2018
10:00 A.M. to 1:00 P.M.
WHERE:
ʻEwa Makai Middle School
91-6291 Kapolei Parkway
ʻEwa Beach, Hawaiʻi 96706

On October 13, Senator Jon Yoshimura, Senator Mike Gabbard and Senator Glenn Wakai, will hold a West O'ahu Energy and EV Fair at 'Ewa Makai Middle School from 10:00am – 1:00pm. The event will feature an update on new Public Utilities Commission rules for residential solar, an opportunity to learn about ways to generate your own clean energy and how to conserve it, and electric vehicle displays from BMW, Nissan, and Tesla.

The state has a goal of producing 100 percent of its electricity from renewable energy sources by 2045. This informative session will shed light on policies that will help to achieve those goals, while giving residents the opportunity to learn about ways in which they can be part of this clean energy future.

"As an advocate of a clean energy future, I am working with community and industry stakeholders to develop more clean energy alternatives that will reduce our dependence on imported oil. Hawai'i's economy, environment, and quality of life is intricately tied to our ability to produce clean and affordable energy," said Sen. Yoshimura.

The event is free and the public is highly encouraged to attend.

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