NOTE:  Since the Micro-Lobster website began in 2003, it has served as an informational resource and clearinghouse for Fuku-Bonsai customers,  associates, public and private researchers, and all who are interested in opae'ula.  THE OPAE'ULA CHALLENGE will be a series of essays to aid in focusing on one specific problem area at a time.  These problems confront the entire community and comments, additions or corrections are invited.  Email me at      Mahalo!  ~~~David W. Fukumoto (October 8, 2005)
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An Updated Status Report to
Part I: Restoring the Anchialine Ponds

             The report posted at provided extensive background information describing the anchialine pond crisis citing the need to again utilize rotenone to remove alien predators from Hawaii's unique anchialine ponds.

             Rotenone had been very effectively used in the past but became prohibited as a result of the 2001 Headwaters v. Talent case. The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that an National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit was required for any use of a pesticide in waterways. The Hawaii Department of Health is authorized to issue NPDES permits in Hawaii under the Federal Clean Water Act (CWA).

             Prior to the ruling, the NPDES permit was not required as pesticide usage was regulated by the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) and administered by the Hawaii Department of Agriculture Pesticide Branch who conduct classes and issues pesticide applicator certifications. The additional requirement of NPDES permits that were impossible to obtain in Hawaii prevented removal of alien predators from the anchialine ponds. THIS IS CHANGING!

              In January 2005, the Environmental Protection Agency issued an Interpretive Statement and Guidance Memorandum that is at odds with the federal court rulings and proposes agency rulemaking that will clarify the overlapping of the Clean Water Act and FIFRA.

              Congressional legislation has also been introduced that clearly state that a NPDES permit is not required when a pesticide is applied consistent with its label. United States Senator Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), Chairman of the Environment & Public Works Committee has introduced bipartisan legislation titled: "Pest Management & Fire Suppression Flexibility Act."

              On September 29, 2005, Congressman Butch Otter (R-Idaho) and Dennis Cardoza (D-Calif.) introduced "Pest Management & Fire Suppression Flexibility Act" (H.R. 1759) at a hearing before the Subcommittee on Water Resources and the Environment of the House Transportation and Infrastructure committee.

          All involved in conservation activities to restore the anchialine ponds are urged to contact the Hawaii congressional delegation to request support for this legislation. Upon passage, the NPDES permit will no longer be required.

          However, a pesticide applicator certification will still be required to utilize rotenone to remove alien predators from anchialine ponds. Potential applicators are urged to obtain certification. For more information, contact Robert A. Boesch, Pesticide Manager, Department of Agriculture at phone (808) 973-9404 or email:

         After several years of frustrations, there is now a clear path. Please spread the word and assist in building support to restore the anchialine ponds!

***  Return to THE OPAE'ULA CHALLENGE; Part I Restoring the Anchialine Ponds
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