Summary of the 2015 Good Neighbor Program and Evaluation
The Good Neighbor Program is a voluntary program. Syngenta, BASF Plant Science, Dow AgroSciences, DuPont Pioneer, and Kauaʻi Coffee Co., LLC. participated in the program. The evaluation included an online survey and interviews and small focus group meetings with participating companies, neighbors, and other stakeholders.
The Good Neighbor Program anticipated that participating farm operators would meet with their neighbors to discuss the farm’s use of RUPs and any questions or concerns the neighbors had. The evaluation investigated the frequency of dialogues and the level of satisfaction from those who participated.
Notification And Reporting
Under the notification process of the Good Neighbor Program, participating farm operators who utilize RUPs provide pre-application notice to certain entities that registered to receive information from a particular farm. The evaluation investigated how many people registered and the level of satisfaction with the information provided in the pre-application notification.
Participating farm operators also provided monthly post-application reports to an HDOA database that lists all applications of RUPs, including the product, the amount applied, and the acreage treated. The evaluation investigated the frequency of visits to the database, the accessibility of information, and the adequacy of information provided.
With a few exceptions, the Good Neighbor Program established a voluntary minimum buffer of 100 feet between the application of a RUP and the property line of schools, medical facilities, and residences. Any existing stricter regulation superseded the Good Neighbor Program buffer. The evaluation investigated any compliance issues, complaints, and stakeholders’ satisfaction with the buffer.
Matt Strassberg is the director of the Environmental Mediation Center and the administrator of the Hawaiʻi Agricultural Mediation Program as well as agricultural mediation programs in other states. He is an attorney and mediator with over twenty five years of experience in environmental law and mediation. He serves on the Steering Committee of the Coalition of Agricultural Mediation Programs, and is listed on the roster of the US Institute for Environmental Conflict Resolution.
Kem Lowry is an Emeritus Professor of Urban and Regional Planning at the University of Hawaiʻi. He has researched and served as consultant to public agencies, non-profit organizations on land use and environmental policy including agricultural issues. He is also a mediator, facilitator, and has conducted numerous program evaluations internationally.