WSR 08-18-078

PREPROPOSAL STATEMENT OF INQUIRY

DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE


[ Filed September 3, 2008, 8:08 a.m. ]

Subject of Possible Rule Making: Chapter 16-334 WAC, rules relating to the production of garlic seed certification. The department is proposing to revise the current seed garlic certification rule by adding an exception to the five hundred feet buffer required between certified garlic and noncertified allium. In addition, the department may amend the existing language to increase its clarity and readability and update the language to conform to current industry and regulatory standards.

Statutes Authorizing the Agency to Adopt Rules on this Subject: Chapters 15.14 and 34.05 RCW.

Reasons Why Rules on this Subject may be Needed and What They Might Accomplish: At the request of the affected industry, the department is proposing to revise the current seed garlic certification rule by adding an exception to the five hundred feet buffer required between certified garlic and noncertified allium. The seed garlic certification program is completely voluntary.

This rule change is proposed in order to respond to recent industry developments. In the past, noncertified alliums (garlic and onion crops) were grown exclusively through vegetative propagation (e.g. onion sets). Onion white rot disease, a primary target pest of the garlic certification program, is spread primarily through vegetative propagation. In order to prevent spread of the disease to certified seed garlic, the current rule requires a buffer of five hundred feet around certified garlic plantings. However, noncertified allium crops are now being grown from true seed, which would not be likely to transmit the disease or to endanger nearby certified seed garlic plantings. This revision would allow the department to grant a waiver in the case of true seed grown onions.

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

September 2, 2008

Mary A. Martin Toohey

Assistant Director

Washington State Code Reviser's Office