WSR 09-11-098

PREPROPOSAL STATEMENT OF INQUIRY

DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE


[ Filed May 19, 2009, 9:55 a.m. ]

Subject of Possible Rule Making: Chapter 16-470 WAC, Quarantine -- Agricultural pests, the department is reviewing the apple maggot and plum curculio provisions of its agricultural quarantine rule and may propose to modify conditions and boundaries established in the rule. 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 17.24 and 34.05 RCW.

Reasons Why Rules on this Subject may be Needed and What They Might Accomplish: The apple maggot is an invasive insect pest native to eastern North America. Its hosts include apples, crabapple, and native hawthorn. In its larval development stage it can cause extensive damage to fruit. It is economically significant to the Washington apple crop not only due to its ability to cause physical crop damage, but also because fruit from apple maggot free areas or locations has greater market access for international shipments.

Data collected from the recent apple maggot survey provides evidence that the state's apple maggot population has altered its range. Changes to the existing rule may better prevent or minimize possible movement of apple maggot and/or plum curculio from infested areas into uninfested areas, secure access to international and interstate markets, and protect the commercial tree fruit industry from an economically significant pest by quarantine modification.

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, including the WSDA Apple Maggot Working Group. 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 Dr. Brad White, Pest Program Manager, Plant Protection Division, Washington State Department of Agriculture, P.O. Box 42560, Olympia, WA 98504-2560, phone (360) 902-2071, fax (360) 902-2094, e-mail bwhite@agr.wa.gov.

May 18, 2009

Mary A. Martin Toohey

Assistant Director

Washington State Code Reviser's Office