WSR 09-09-123

PREPROPOSAL STATEMENT OF INQUIRY

DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE


[ Filed April 22, 2009, 8:18 a.m. ]

Subject of Possible Rule Making: Chapter 16-497 WAC, Hop disease quarantine, at the request of the affected industry, the department is proposing to amend the hop disease quarantine rule by adding hop stunt viroid to the list of diseases that hop planting stock entering the state needs to be certified free of. In addition, the department is proposing to revise the current language to make it more clear and readable and to reflect current industry practices.

Statutes Authorizing the Agency to Adopt Rules on this Subject: Chapters 17.24, 15.14, and 34.05 RCW.

Reasons Why Rules on this Subject may be Needed and What They Might Accomplish: Hop stunt viroid is an economically significant, exotic, and highly infectious disease of commercial hops. It has recently been found for the first time in this state's hop planting stock, and an industry sponsored project to eliminate it has been initiated at the WSU Irrigated Agriculture Research and Extension Center at Prosser. Adding it to the list of prohibited diseases in the existing quarantine rule has been proposed by the affected industry to protect the state from reinfestation.

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, Plant Services 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.

April 21, 2009

Mary A. Martin Toohey

Assistant Director

Washington State Code Reviser's Office