WSR 09-09-124

PREPROPOSAL STATEMENT OF INQUIRY

DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE


[ Filed April 22, 2009, 8:23 a.m. ]

Subject of Possible Rule Making: Chapter 16-354 WAC, Hop rootstocks -- Certification, the department is proposing to amend the hop certification rule to change the criteria for certification. The proposal would add hop stunt viroid to the list of diseases that certified hop planting stock needs to be free of. In addition, the department is proposing to revise the current language to make it more clear and readable and reflect current industry practices.

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, hop stunt viroid is proposed for addition to the list of diseases that must be absent, in order for planting stock to be eligible for certification. Certified planting stock is stock that has met standards for freedom from disease and other pests. 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. It would benefit the industry to eliminate it from the certified planting stock program criteria.

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