WSR 09-15-179

PREPROPOSAL STATEMENT OF INQUIRY

DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE


[ Filed July 22, 2009, 7:51 a.m. ]

Subject of Possible Rule Making: Christmas tree licensing and assessment. The department is proposing to adopt annual licensing and assessment fees for Christmas tree growers.

Statutes Authorizing the Agency to Adopt Rules on this Subject: RCW 15.13.311 and chapter 34.05 RCW.

Reasons Why Rules on this Subject may be Needed and What They Might Accomplish: During the 2007 legislative session, at the request of the Christmas tree industry, the Washington state legislature adopted amendments to chapter 15.13 RCW (see chapter 335, Laws of 2007) relative to Christmas tree grower licensure. This legislation authorizes the department to adopt rules for annual license fees that may include a base fee and per acre assessment and fee collection methods. During the 2009 legislative session, the legislature authorized (as required by Initiative 960) the Washington state department of agriculture (WSDA) to establish Christmas tree grower licensing fees (see chapter 564, Laws of 2009).

The intent of the 2007 legislation is to establish a fee-funded program to enhance lines of communication, create a mechanism for the industry to advise WSDA, and furnish pest and certification services to the Christmas tree industry.

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.

July 22, 2009

Mary A. Martin Toohey

Assistant Director

Washington State Code Reviser's Office