WSR 06-23-110

PREPROPOSAL STATEMENT OF INQUIRY

DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE


[ Filed November 17, 2006, 10:27 a.m. ]

Subject of Possible Rule Making: Chapter 16-482 WAC, Seed potato quarantine, the department is considering revising the current seed potato quarantine to require all seed potatoes planted in Washington comply with the state national harmonization program for seed potatoes (SNHP).

Statutes Authorizing the Agency to Adopt Rules on this Subject: Chapters 17.24 and 34.05 RCW.

Reasons Why Rules on this Subject may be Needed and What They Might Accomplish: SNHP is a new national standard for seed potato certification. When implemented, it will allow the United States Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA-APHIS) and the potato industry better access to international markets. Compliance with the SNHP would enable USDA-APHIS to establish a standard of official control on pests managed through seed potato certification. Pest management through official control is necessary to comply with trade agreements under the World Trade Organization and to maintain the current level of quarantines on potatoes imported into the United States from countries other than Canada.

Other Federal and State Agencies that Regulate this Subject and the Process Coordinating the Rule with These Agencies: None.

Process for Developing New Rule: Department staff will discuss any proposed amendments with affected stakeholders. Affected stakeholders will also have an opportunity to submit written comments on the proposed rules during the public comment period and will be able to present oral testimony at the public hearing.

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, Washington State Department of Agriculture, Plant Protection Division, P.O. Box 42560, Olympia, WA 98504-2560, phone (360) 902-1907, fax (360) 902-2094, e-mail mtoohey@agr.wa.gov; or Tom Wessels, Program Manager, Washington State Department of Agriculture, Plant Protection Division, P.O. Box 42560, Olympia, WA 98504-2560, phone (360) 902-1984, fax (360) 902-2094, e-mail twessels@agr.wa.gov.

November 14, 2006

Mary A. Martin Toohey

Assistant Director

Washington State Code Reviser's Office