WSR 99-07-123

PREPROPOSAL STATEMENT OF INQUIRY

DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE


[ Filed March 24, 1999, 9:44 a.m. ]

Subject of Possible Rule Making: To amend and adopt new rules in chapter 16-752 WAC, Noxious weed control.

Statutes Authorizing the Agency to Adopt Rules on this Subject: Chapters 17.24, 17.10, 15.13 RCW.

Reasons Why Rules on this Subject may be Needed and What They Might Accomplish: Yellow nutsedge is an extremely invasive, economically significant noxious weed which currently occurs in a limited number of sites in this state. If its spread continues unchecked, it will cause significant economic and environmental damage. Spread is particularly likely through movement of contaminated soil, either as topsoil or surrounding the roots of nursery stock and sod. A quarantine may be necessary to prevent shipment of yellow nutsedge through these media.

Other Federal and State Agencies that Regulate this Subject and the Process Coordinating the Rule with These Agencies: The Washington State Noxious Weed Control Board has designated yellow nutsedge a Class B noxious weed in this state, initiating certain regulatory processes authorized in chapter 17.10 RCW. This board has requested that the Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) also implement a quarantine as a complementary regulatory measure. WSDA will continue to consult with the board.

USDA APHIS regulates certain noxious weeds on a federal level; however, yellow nutsedge is established elsewhere in the nation and is not of federal regulatory significance.

Process for Developing New Rule: Washington State Department of Agriculture representatives discuss proposed rule changes with the Washington State Noxious Weed Control Board, representatives of the nursery industry, and other affected stakeholders, and then publish the rule proposal.

Interested parties can participate in the decision to adopt the new rule and formulation of the proposed rule before publication by contacting Mary A. Martin Toohey, Assistant Director, WSDA Laboratory Services Division, P.O. Box 42560, Olympia, WA 98504-2560, phone (360) 902-1907, fax (360) 902-2094; or Thomas Wessels, Plant Services Program Manager, WSDA Laboratory Services Division, P.O. Box 42560, Olympia, WA 98504-2560, phone (360) 902-1984, fax (360) 902-2094.

March 24, 1999

Mary A. Martin Toohey

Assistant Director

Washington State Code Reviser's Office