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Senate News

Senators in session

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — An Administration bill introduced yesterday in the Senate — and expected to be introduced in the House later this week — seeks to overhaul American Samoa’s pesticide legislation to, among other things, comply with federal laws and regulations.

The proposed law seeks to transfer authority to implement and enforce the American Samoa Pesticide Act of 1979 from the Agriculture Department to the American Samoa Environmental Protection Agency.

Furthermore, to validate a Memorandum of Understanding dated Dec. 11, 1985 and two executive orders issued in 1985 and 1987. And it includes granting rule-making authority to AS-EPA.

The bill’s preamble notes that the local Pesticide Act was based on federal law and regulations, which was last amended in 1980.

Since that time, “tremendous developments in climate change, the sciences touching on environmental protection, and the terminology associated with these have occurred in the last four decades,” it says.

According to the Administration’s bill, the proposed amendments to current law are to “clarify and strengthen pesticides applicator training and certification as well as enforcement procedures, among others, for compliance with federal regulations to bring the territory into compliance with federal law and regulations.

The bill would also improve the administration and services of AS-EPA.


Also yesterday, senators approved a Senate Concurrent Resolution for the officially mid-session recess of the current 1st Regular Session to begin at the close of business on Feb. 6 and reconvene on Mar. 13.

An identical House concurrent resolution for the official recess is expected to be approved by faipule this week.

During the recess, lawmakers — who are members of Fono retirement committees — will be traveling to the American Samoa Government Employees Retirement Fund meeting in Las Vegas on Feb. 15 and Feb. 16.

In the Senate all 18-senators are members of the retirement committee, chaired by Sen. Soliai Tuipine Fuimaono, while in the House there are nine members of the House Commerce/ Economic Development/ Retirement Committee chaired by Rep. Samuel Ioka Ale Meleisea.

Travel expenses for lawmakers are fully funded by the Retirement Fund.