WSR 98-21-055

PROPOSED RULES

DEPARTMENT OF

FISH AND WILDLIFE

[Filed October 19, 1998, 9:17 a.m.]



Original Notice.

Preproposal statement of inquiry was filed as WSR 98-17-088.

Title of Rule: Oyster diseases and pests: Permits required for transfer of aquaculture products and/or equipment.

Purpose: To help prevent the spread of the European green crab from Grays Harbor and Willapa Bay to other marine waters of Washington.

Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 75.08.080.

Statute Being Implemented: RCW 75.08.080.

Summary: Shellfish growers will be restricted from moving their products (not market ready) and equipment from Willapa Bay and Grays Harbor without a permit from the director in order to help prevent the spread of the shellfish pest, the European green crab, from those known locations to other marine waters of the state.

Reasons Supporting Proposal: The European green crab is known to be a predator on cultured and native shellfish and has significant environmental risk associated with its impacts to local ecologies.

Name of Agency Personnel Responsible for Drafting: Morris Barker, 1111 Washington Street, Olympia, WA, (360) 902-2826; Implementation: Bruce Crawford, 1111 Washington Street, Olympia, WA, (360) 902-2325; and Enforcement: Bruce Bjork, 1111 Washington Street, Olympia, WA, (360) 902-2373.

Name of Proponent: Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, governmental.

Rule is not necessitated by federal law, federal or state court decision.

Explanation of Rule, its Purpose, and Anticipated Effects: WAC 220-72-076, this amended rule will require that shellfish growers obtain a permit from the director before transfer of cultured shellfish products and/or aquaculture equipment from Willapa Bay or Grays Harbor in order to reduce the likelihood of introducing the shellfish pest, the European green crab, into other Washington marine waters. The permit would provide for inspections and shellfish culture protocols that would minimize risk of green crab introductions. This requirement will reduce the risk of green crab introduction into waters where it does not currently exist.

Proposal Changes the Following Existing Rules: See below.

A small business economic impact statement has been prepared under chapter 19.85 RCW.



Small Business Economic Impact Statement

1. Description of the Reporting, Recordkeeping, and Other Compliance Requirements of the Proposed Rule: No reporting or recordkeeping required other than having a written permit from the director in possession or affixed when transporting shellfish aquaculture products or shellfish aquaculture equipment from Grays Harbor or Willapa Bay.

2. Kinds of Professional Services that a Small Business is Likely to Need in Order to Comply with Such Requirements: None.

3. Costs of Compliance for Businesses, Including Costs of Equipment, Supplies, Labor, and Increased Administrative Costs: There is no fee for the permit and the permit is issued if the proposed transfer meets the criteria for minimizing risk of green crab introduction into other Washington waters.

Other additional costs may be incurred by small business to reduce risk of transporting contaminated product. These costs are related to organization of product and equipment disinfection, decontamination and storage procedures. These costs are unquantifiable and will vary from business to business depending on their current level of compliance as required by the on-going emergency order.

4. Will Compliance with the Rule Cause Businesses to Lose Sales or Revenue? No, compliance will ensure that current business can continue without unduly jeopardizing similar businesses in other Washington waters.

5. Cost of Compliance for the Ten Percent of Businesses that are the Largest Businesses Required to Comply with the Proposed Rules Using one or more of the Following as a Basis for Comparing Costs: a. Costs per employee; b. cost per hour of labor; or c. cost per one hundred dollars of sales. Not applicable.

6. Steps Taken by the Agency to Reduce the Costs of the Rule on Small Businesses or Reasonable Justification for not Doing so: The agency has worked with the shellfish industry to understand their needs and reduce the risks of green crab importation into other areas affected by the shellfish grower industry. The industry has expressed specific concerns regarding the risk of the invasion of the European green crab into other areas of Washington shellfish culture operations and this proposal is the department response to that industry desire.

7. A Description of How the Agency will Involve Small Businesses in the Development of the Rule: The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife representatives met with the Shellfish Import Advisory Committee (industry, academics and managers), as well as key aquaculture representatives to discuss the issue before the first live green crab was even seen this summer. The industry supported implementing restrictions if any live green crabs were found. This and other regulations have also been discussed at green crab workshops, and in the Pacific Coast Oyster Grower Association newsletter. In addition there will be a public workshop in front of the Fish and Wildlife Commission scheduled for November 13-14 in Olympia. A public hearing will also be held by the Fish and Wildlife Commission in December of 1998 where additional testimony will be taken.

8. A List of Industries that will be Required to Comply with the Rule: The shellfish aquaculture industry located in Grays Harbor and Willapa Bay is the only portion of this industry that will be required to comply with this rule.



A copy of the statement may be obtained by writing to Morris Barker, 600 Capitol Way North, Olympia, WA 98501-1091, phone (360) 902-2826, fax (360) 902-2944.

Section 201, chapter 403, Laws of 1995, does not apply to this rule adoption. Not hydraulic rules.

Hearing Location: DoubleTree Hotel, Seattle Airport, 18740 Pacific Highway South, Seattle, on December 4-5, 1998, at 8:00 a.m.

Assistance for Persons with Disabilities: Contact Robin Ayers by November 16, 1998, TDD (360) 902-2295, or (360) 902-2933.

Submit Written Comments to: Evan Jacoby, Rules Coordinator, 600 Capitol Way North, Olympia, WA, fax (360) 902-2940, by December 3, 1998.

Date of Intended Adoption: December 5, 1998.

October 19, 1998

Evan Jacoby

Rules Coordinator

OTS-2615.1

AMENDATORY SECTION (Amending Order 97-56, filed 4/2/97, effective 5/3/97)



WAC 220-72-076  Unlawful acts--Permit required. (1) It shall be unlawful to transfer shellfish, shellfish aquaculture products (including oyster seed, cultch and shell), aquaculture equipment (including aquaculture vehicles and vessels) or any marine organisms adversely affecting shellfish from a restricted area into an unrestricted area without obtaining written permission from the director of fish and wildlife or the director's authorized agent. Such written permit must be affixed to or otherwise accompany the conveyance affecting the physical transfer of such shellfish, shellfish aquaculture products (including oyster seed, cultch and shell), aquaculture equipment (including aquaculture vehicles and vessels) oyster drills, or drill-infested or marine organisms harmful to shellfish. Areas found to have aquatic diseases or pests (including the oyster drill Ceratostoma inornatum) will be immediately considered restricted by the department of fish and wildlife. The department will immediately notify property owners of the restricted status.

(2) It is unlawful to transfer shellfish aquaculture products (including all oysters and clams, oyster seed, cultch, and shell), and aquaculture equipment (including aquaculture vehicles and vessels) from the waters and tidelands of Grays Harbor inside and easterly of a line projected from the outermost end of the north jetty to the outermost end of the south jetty and from the waters and tidelands of Willapa Bay inside and easterly of a line projected from the most northern tip of Leadbetter Point true north to Cape Shoalwater without obtaining written permission from the director of fish and wildlife or the director's authorized agent. Transfers to the waters and tidelands of Willapa Bay inside and easterly of a line projected from the most northern tip of Leadbetter Point true north to Cape Shoalwater are exempted from this written permission requirement. Such written permit must be affixed to or otherwise accompany the conveyance affecting the physical transfer of such shellfish, shellfish aquaculture products (including oyster seed, cultch, and shell), or aquaculture equipment (including aquaculture vehicles and vessels).



[Statutory Authority: RCW 75.08.080. 97-08-078 (Order 97-56), 220-72-076, filed 4/2/97, effective 5/3/97; Order 847, 220-72-076, filed 9/24/69.]