S-1852.1  _______________________________________________


                         SENATE BILL 5959



State of Washington      55th Legislature     1997 Regular Session


By Senators Anderson and Morton


Read first time 02/21/97.  Referred to Committee on Agriculture & Environment.

Allowing for the establishment of restricted seed potato production areas.

    AN ACT Relating to seed potato production; adding a new chapter to Title 15 RCW; creating a new section; and declaring an emergency.




    NEW SECTION.  Sec. 1.  The legislature finds that the production of high quality certified seed potatoes within the state requires conditions that are as free as possible from insect pests and plant diseases and that ensuring these conditions exist is in the public interest.  The legislature further finds that the production of other potatoes intermixed with or in close proximity to a concentrated seed potato production area poses an increased risk of introduction of plant diseases and insect pests.


    NEW SECTION.  Sec. 2.  Growers of seed potatoes, certified in accordance with rules adopted under chapter 15.14 RCW, may submit a petition to the director of the department of agriculture requesting that the director establish a restricted seed potato production area.  The petition shall include the proposed geographic boundaries of the restricted seed potato production area, and the types of restrictions that are proposed to apply to the growing of nonseed potatoes.  The petition shall contain the signatures of at least fifty percent of the growers of certified seed potatoes who have produced at least fifty percent of the certified seed potatoes within the proposed restricted seed potato production area in each of the two preceding years.

    Upon receipt of a petition submitted in accordance with this section, the director of the department of agriculture shall, within thirty days of receipt of the petition, investigate the need of establishing a restricted seed potato production area.  The director may propose rules and hold public hearings in the area affected by the proposed rules.  The director has the authority to adopt rules in accordance with chapter 34.05 RCW to establish restricted seed potato production areas to prevent the increased exposure to plant diseases and insect pests that adversely affect the ability to meet standards for certification of seed potatoes established under chapter 15.14 RCW.


    NEW SECTION.  Sec. 3.  The director of the department of agriculture may bring an action to enjoin the violation or threatened violation of any provision of this chapter or any rule made pursuant to this chapter in a court of competent jurisdiction of the county in which such violation occurs or is about to occur.


    NEW SECTION.  Sec. 4.  Sections 2 and 3 of this act constitute a new chapter in Title 15 RCW.


    NEW SECTION.  Sec. 5.  This act is necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, or safety, or support of the state government and its existing public institutions, and takes effect immediately.


                            --- END ---