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The Conversation: EPA Warns Of Illegal Use Of Chemicals

Larry Sheradon
Flickr / CC BY-NC 2.0

EPA on growing problem of imported, unregistered chemicals; Email drama on Hu Honua project; Where did COVID grants go?; Addressing youth suicide on Kauai; Hawaii Ulu Cooperative on getting crops to market

EPA on growing problem of imported, unregistered chemicals

This morning we talked to the Environmental Protection Agency about a growing problem of chemicals being imported into our country and into the Islands. The EPA this past week ordered Hui Restoration, a company that began operating in March, to stop using two products - InstaPURE and EverPURE - because they are not registered.  Amy Miller is the director of the EPA Region 9's Enforcement and Compliance Division and tells us about the agency's concerns.

Amy Miller, Director of the Enforcement and Compliance Division - EPA

Credit Hu Honua Bioenergy

Email drama on Hu Honua project

Fake email drama swirled in the days leading up to a decision by the Public Utilities Commission over the fate of a Big Island biomass plant, Honua Ola, also known as Hu Honua. The PUC denied the company's request for reconsideration in the case. Henry Curtis of Life of the Land challenged the Hamakua plant.

Henry Curtis, Executive Director - Life of the Land

Where did COVID grants go?

State records show the Hawaii Department of Health has spent just a fraction of its federal grant money for COVID-19 detection and prevention, prompting calls from lawmakers for the department to act faster to strengthen the state's pandemic response. Civil Beat Reporter Eleni Avendano tells us some of the bureaucratic hurdles. Click here to read her story at CivilBeat.org.

Honolulu Civil Beat reporter Eleni Avendano

Addressing youth suicide on Kauai

Today is World Suicide Prevention Day, and all this month, mental health advocates and organizations have been promoting suicide prevention awareness. In August, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released its biannual survey results on high school risk behavior. Comparing 2017 toi 2019, more Hawaii teens reported feeling sad or hopeless, and more said they had planned or attempted suicide. (Click here to see the data.) While the recently released data has yet to be broken down by county, previous surveys show Kauai has higher levels of youth suicide. Alice Luck, president and CEO of the Kauai Planning and Action Alliance, tells us what is the Kauai Intervention Project. Click here to visit the Keiki to Career Kauai website.

Mental health crisis assistance:

  • Crisis Line of Hawaii, available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week: 1-800-753-6879, or text "ALOHA" to 741741
  • Trevor Project, support for LGBTQ+ youth: 1-866-488-7386, or text "START" to 678678, or chat at TheTrevorProject.org

Assistance on Kauai

  • Kauai Family Guidance Center, Child and Adolescent Mental Health Program: 808-274-3883
  • YWCA Domestic Violence Hotline: 808-245-6362
  • Sexual Assault Hotline: 808-241-4144
Alice Luck, President and CEO - Kauai Planning and Action Alliance

Credit Virginia McMillan / Flickr

Hawaii Ulu Cooperative on getting crops to market

All this week we have been looking at all things ulu. Today we feature the Ulu Cooperative on the Big Island which has joined forces to marshall the power of ulu. Dana Shapiro of the cooperative is one of the many ulu ambassadors out to spread the word about ulu power. A promising crop as we look to diversify the economy and support local farmers. The Ulu Cooperative along with the Hawaii Farmers Union Foundation and voyaging foods has launched an initiative to promote replacing 30 percent of flour use with local starches by 2030. Click here to take the Ulu Flour Survey.

Dana Shapiro, General Manager - Hawaii Ulu Cooperative

Stay Connected
Catherine Cruz is the host of The Conversation. Originally from Guam, she spent more than 30 years at KITV, covering beats from government to education. Contact her at ccruz@hawaiipublicradio.org.
Jason Ubay is the managing editor at Hawaiʻi Public Radio. Send your story ideas to him at jubay@hawaiipublicradio.org.
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