WSR 04-24-090

PROPOSED RULES

DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE


[ Filed December 1, 2004, 10:15 a.m. ]

Original Notice.

Preproposal statement of inquiry was filed as WSR 04-19-123.

Title of Rule and Other Identifying Information: The department is proposing to amend WAC 16-350-035 Requirements for certified nursery planting stock, to clarify the text of the existing rule and to bring the Washington fruit tree certification program into compliance with requirements of international and interstate customers. Other proposed text changes are intended to clarify the existing language without changing its meaning.

Hearing Location(s): Tree Fruit Research and Extension Center, Stockwell Room, 1100 North Western Avenue, Wenatchee, WA, on January 6, 2005, at 12:30 p.m.

Date of Intended Adoption: January 11, 2005.

Submit Written Comments to: Henri Gonzales, P.O. Box 42560, Olympia, WA 98504-2560, e-mail hgonzales@agr.wa.gov, fax (360) 902-2094, by January 5, 2005, by 5:00 p.m.

Assistance for Persons with Disabilities: Contact Henri Gonzales by January 3, 2005, TTY (360) 902-1996 or (360) 902-2061.

Purpose of the Proposal and Its Anticipated Effects, Including Any Changes in Existing Rules: This proposal amends WAC 16-350-035 to clarify the text of the existing rule and to bring the Washington fruit tree certification program into compliance with requirements of international and interstate customers. Subsection (1)(b) is amended to clarify that rootstock from out-of-state certification programs is acceptable for production of certified fruit tree nursery stock in Washington, if the rootstock was propagated directly from mother plants that were tested and found free of all known virus and virus-like diseases. The effect of the amendment to subsection (1)(c) is to limit the existing 5% tolerance level for virus infected commercial seed to one species - Prunus persica, or peach - while requiring all other Prunus species, such as cheery, plum, or apricot to be propagated directly from registered trees. Other proposed text changes are intended to clarify the existing language without changing its meaning.

Reasons Supporting Proposal: In recent years, rootstock shipped into Washington from some out-of-state certification programs has been found to be virus contaminated. If infected rootstock is used to propagate fruit tees, the quality of the resulting tree is significantly reduced. This problem has jeopardized Washington fruit tree nursery stock producers' access to multiple foreign markers. The proposal would require rootstock from these sources to be tested and found free of virus diseases. Also, Canadian import regulations have recently changed to specify that Prunus rootstock (except peaches) can only be grown from seed harvested from registered trees that have been tested and found free of virus diseases, if it is to be eligible for movement into Canada. Canada is a significant market for Washington grown certified fruit tree nursery stock.

Statutory Authority for Adoption: Chapters 15.14 and 34.05 RCW.

Statute Being Implemented: Chapter 15.14 RCW.

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

Name of Proponent: Washington State Department of Agriculture and its Fruit Tree Certification Advisory Committee, private and governmental.

Name of Agency Personnel Responsible for Drafting, Implementation and Enforcement: Tom Wessels, 1111 Washington Street, Olympia, WA 98504-2560, (360) 902-1984.

No small business economic impact statement has been prepared under chapter 19.85 RCW. RCW 19.85.030 (1)(a) requires that an agency must prepare a small business economic impact statement (SBEIS) for proposed rules that impose a more than minor cost on businesses in an industry. The department has analyzed the economic effects of the proposed rule changes and has concluded that they will not impose more than minor costs on the regulated industry in Washington and, therefore, a formal SBEIS is not required.

A cost-benefit analysis is not required under RCW 34.05.328. The Washington State Department of Agriculture is not a listed agency under RCW 34.05.328 (5)(a)(i) and, therefore, a cost-benefit analysis is not required.

December 1, 2004

Mary A. Martin Toohey

Assistant Director

OTS-7666.1


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 00-19-036, filed 9/12/00, effective 10/13/00)

WAC 16-350-035   Requirements for certified nursery planting stock.   (1) All nursery stock being grown for certification must be propagated on certified rootstock. Certified rootstock ((may be any)) must comply with at least one of the following conditions:

(a) Rootstock ((originating)) propagated directly from registered trees.

(b) Rootstock originating from other approved certification programs, if the rootstock was propagated directly from mother plants that have been tested and found free of all known virus and virus-like diseases.

(c) Prunus persica seedlings grown from commercial seed, if the seed lot has been tested for transmissible virus content, and not more than five percent of the seed tested positive for transmissible virus content.

(d) Pome fruit seedlings.

(2) Growers must keep records identifying the scion, rootstock, and interstock sources for all Washington certified stock. Upon request, these records must be made available to the department.

(3) Seed may be designated as Washington certified seed only if both of the following conditions are complied with:

(a) The seed was produced on registered seed trees; and

(b) The seed lot has been tested for transmissible virus content, and not more than five percent of the seed tested positive for transmissible viruses.

(4) Washington certified nursery stock must be identified by a blue certification tag.

(5) When it is offered for sale, Washington certified nursery stock must be identified as to variety, interstock and rootstock.

[Statutory Authority: Chapter 15.14 RCW. 00-19-036, 16-350-035, filed 9/12/00, effective 10/13/00; 90-23-006 (Order 2058), 16-350-035, filed 11/9/90, effective 12/10/90; Order 1331, 16-350-035, filed 1/15/74; Order 1300, 16-350-035, filed 3/26/73; Order 951, Regulation 2(d), filed 7/2/64; Order 890, Regulation 2 (part), effective 9/17/62.]

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