SUBSTITUTE SENATE BILL 5317
State of Washington 52nd Legislature 1991 Regular Session
By Senate Committee on Agriculture & Water Resources (originally sponsored by Senators Saling, Gaspard, Patterson, Bauer, Barr, Hansen, Jesernig, Newhouse, Hayner, Bailey, Nelson, Madsen, Matson, Owen and Stratton).
Read first time February 11, 1991.
AN ACT Relating to research and extension programs of Washington State University; adding a new chapter to Title 15 RCW; and making an appropriation.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF WASHINGTON:
NEW SECTION. Sec. 1. The legislature finds that public concerns are increasing about the need for significant efforts to develop sustainable systems in agriculture. The sustainable systems would address many anxieties, including the erosion of agricultural lands, the protection of natural resources, and the safety of food production. Consumers have demonstrated their apprehension in the marketplace by refusing to purchase products whose safety is suspect and consumer confidence is essential for a viable agriculture in Washington. Examples of surface and ground water contamination by pesticides and chemical fertilizers raise concerns about deterioration of environmental quality. Reducing soil erosion would maintain water quality and protect the long-term viability of the soil for agricultural productivity. Both farmers and farm labor are apprehensive about the effects of pesticides on their health and personal safety. Development of sustainable farming systems would strengthen the economic viability of Washington's agricultural production industry.
Public anxieties over the use of chemicals in agriculture have resulted in congress amending the federal insecticide, fungicide and rodenticide act which requires all pesticides and their uses registered before November 1984 to be reregistered, complying with present standards, by the end of 1997. The legislature finds that the pesticide reregistration process and approval requirements could reduce the availability of chemical pesticides for use on minor crops in Washington and may jeopardize the farmers' ability to grow these crops in Washington.
The legislature recognizes that Washington State University supports research and extension programs that can lead to reductions in pesticide use where viable alternatives are both environmentally and economically sound. Yet, the legislature finds that a focused and coordinated program is needed to develop possible alternatives, increase public confidence in the safety of the food system, and educate farmers and natural resource managers on land stewardship.
The legislature further finds that growers, processors, and agribusiness depend upon pesticide laboratories associated with manufacturers, regional universities, state departments of agriculture, and the United States department of agriculture to provide residue data for registering essential pesticides. The registration of uses for minor crops, which include vegetables, fruits, nuts, berries, nursery and greenhouse crops, and reregistration of needed chemicals, are activities of particular concern to ensure crop production. Furthermore, public demands for improved information and education on pesticides and risk assessment efforts justify these efforts.
The legislature further finds that multiple alternatives are needed for pest control, including programs for integrated pest management, genetic resistance to pests, biological control, cultural practices, and the use of appropriate approved chemicals.
NEW SECTION. Sec. 2. Unless the context clearly requires otherwise, the definitions in this section apply throughout this chapter.
(1) "Center" means the center for sustaining agriculture and natural resources established at Washington State University.
(2) "Laboratory" means the food and environmental quality laboratory established at Washington State University at Tri-Cities.
(3) "Integrated pest management" is a strategy that uses various combinations of pest control methods, biological, cultural, and chemical, in a compatible manner to achieve satisfactory control and ensure favorable economic and environmental consequences.
(4) "IR-4 program" means interregional research project number four, clearances of chemicals and biologics for minor or special uses, established in 1963 by the cooperative state research service of the United States department of agriculture, the coordinated national program involving land-grant universities and the United States department of agriculture to provide data required for the registration of pesticides needed for the production of minor crops.
(5) "Natural resources" means soil, water, air, forests, wetlands, wildlands, and wildlife.
(6) "Pesticide" means chemical or biologic used to control pests such as insect, rodent, nematode, snail, slug, weed, virus, or any organism the director of agriculture may declare to be a pest.
(7) "Registration" means use of a pesticide approved by the state department of agriculture.
(8) "Sustainable agriculture" means a systems approach to farming, ranching, and natural resource production that builds on and supports the physical, biological, and ecological resource base upon which agriculture depends. The goals of sustainable agriculture are to provide human food and fiber needs in an economically viable manner for the agriculture industry and in a manner which protects the environment and contributes to the overall safety and quality of life.
NEW SECTION. Sec. 3. A center for sustaining agriculture and natural resources is established at Washington State University. The center shall provide state-wide leadership in research, extension, and resident instruction programs to sustain agriculture and natural resources.
NEW SECTION. Sec. 4. The center's primary activities include but are not limited to:
(1) Research programs which focus on developing possible alternative production and marketing systems through:
(a) Integrated pest management;
(b) Biological pest control;
(c) Plant and animal breeding;
(d) Conservation strategies; and
(e) Understanding the ecological basis of nutrient management;
(2) Extension programs which focus on:
(a) On-farm demonstrations and evaluation of alternative production practices;
(b) Information dissemination, and education concerning sustainable agriculture and natural resource systems; and
(c) Communication and training on sustainable agriculture strategies for consumers, producers, and farm and conservation-related organizations;
(3) On-farm testing and research to calculate and demonstrate costs and benefits, including economic and environmental benefits and trade-offs, inherent in farming systems and technologies;
(4) Crop rotation and other natural resource processes such as pest-predator interaction to mitigate weed, disease, and insect problems, thereby reducing soil erosion and environmental impacts;
(5) Management systems to improve nutrient uptake, health, and resistance to diseases and pests by incorporating the genetic and biological potential of plants and animals into production practices;
(6) Soil management, including conservation tillage and other practices to minimize soil loss and maintain soil productivity; and
(7) Animal production systems emphasizing preventive disease practices and mitigation of environmental pollution.
NEW SECTION. Sec. 5. The center is managed by an administrator. The administrator shall hold a joint appointment as an assistant director in the Washington State University agricultural research center and cooperative extension.
(1) A committee shall advise the administrator. The dean shall make appointments to the advisory committee so the committee is representative of affected groups, such as the Washington department of social and health services, the Washington department of ecology, the Washington department of agriculture, the chemical and fertilizer industry, food processors, marketing groups, consumer groups, environmental groups, and natural resource and agricultural organizations.
(2) Each appointed member shall serve a term of three years, and one-third are appointed every year. The entire committee is appointed the first year: One-third for a term of one year, one-third for a term of two years, and one-third for a term of three years. A member shall continue to serve until a successor is appointed. Vacancies are filled by appointment for the unexpired term.
(3) It is the responsibility of the administrator, in consultation with the advisory committee, to:
(a) Recommend research and extension priorities for the center;
(b) Conduct a competitive grants process to solicit, review, and prioritize research and extension proposals; and
(c) Advise Washington State University on the progress of the development and implementation of research, teaching, and extension programs that sustain agriculture and natural resources of Washington.
NEW SECTION. Sec. 6. A food and environmental quality laboratory is established at Washington State University at Tri-Cities to conduct pesticide studies concerning residues on fresh and processed foods, in the environment, and for human and animal safety. The laboratory shall cooperate with public and private laboratories in Washington, Idaho, and Oregon.
NEW SECTION. Sec. 7. The responsibilities of the laboratory shall include:
(1) Evaluating regional requirements for minor crop registration through the federal IR-4 program;
(2) Conducting studies on the fate of pesticides on crops and in the environment, including soil, air, and water;
(3) Improving pesticide information and education programs; and
(4) Assisting federal and state agencies with questions regarding registration of pesticides which are deemed critical to crop production, consistent with priorities established in section 8 of this act; and
(5) Assisting in the registration of biopesticides, pheromones, and other alternative chemical and biological methods.
NEW SECTION. Sec. 8. The laboratory is advised by a board appointed by the dean of the Washington State University college of agriculture and home economics. The dean shall cooperate with appropriate officials in Washington, Idaho, and Oregon in selecting board members.
(1) The board shall consist of ten individuals representing the following interests: A human toxicologist or a health professional knowledgeable in worker exposure to pesticides, the Washington State University vice-provost for research or research administrator, representatives from the state department of agriculture, the department of ecology, the department of health, the department of labor and industry, privately owned Washington pesticide analytical laboratories, federal regional pesticide laboratories, an Idaho and Oregon laboratory, whether state, university, or private, a chemical and fertilizer industry representative, farm organizations, food processors, marketers, farm labor, environmental organizations, and consumers. Each board member shall serve a three-year term.
(2) The board is in liaison with the pesticide advisory board and the pesticide incident reporting and tracking panel and shall review the chemicals investigated by the laboratory according to the following criteria:
(a) Chemical uses for which a data base exists on environmental fate and acute toxicology, and that appear safer environmentally than pesticides available on the market;
(b) Chemical uses not currently under evaluation by public laboratories in Idaho or Oregon for use on Washington crops;
(c) Chemicals that have lost or may lose their registration and that no reasonably viable alternatives for Washington crops are known; and
(d) Other chemicals vital to Washington agriculture.
(3) The laboratory shall conduct research activities using approved good laboratory practices, namely procedures and recordkeeping required of the national IR-4 minor use pesticide registration program.
(4) The laboratory shall coordinate activities with the national IR-4 program.
NEW SECTION. Sec. 9. The sum of seven million eight hundred thousand dollars, or as much thereof as may be necessary, is appropriated for the biennium ending June 30, 1993, from the general fund to Washington State University for the purposes of carrying out this act. Of this appropriation, six million six hundred thousand dollars, shall be expended for the center for sustaining agriculture and natural resources and one million two hundred thousand dollars shall be expended for the food and environmental quality laboratory.