Acting governor Victor Hocog has signed into law yesterday a Senate bill to penalize the importation of banned pesticides.
Senate Bill 19-70, HD1, is now Public Law 19-54 and amends public law regarding the importation of contraband.
“I want to make it clear that Public Law 19-54 should not be construed as repealing PL 19-44 because it proposes to create a new subsection,” said Hocog in his July 20, 2016, letter to the House of Representatives and Senate.
To the list of unlawful items or contraband imported into the Commonwealth, the new law adds, “banned pesticides as defined by regulations adopted by the Bureau of Environmental and Coastal Quality.”
The bill was authored Sen. Justo Quitugua (Ind-Saipan).
In its finding section, the bill noted that although the importation of banned pesticides is prohibited in the CNMI, the importation of banned pesticides is not subject to the penalty imposed on the importation of contraband.
“Banned pesticides contain chemicals that are carcinogenic and toxic for human consumption and should not be used in the Commonwealth,” the bill says. “The Legislature further finds that the importation of banned pesticides should be covered by the laws penalizing the importation of contraband in order to protect and safeguard the health and safety of the people of the Commonwealth.”