WSR 00-21-053

PROPOSED RULES

DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE


[ Filed October 16, 2000, 9:36 a.m. ]

Continuance of WSR 00-19-102.

Preproposal statement of inquiry was filed as WSR 99-17-104.

Title of Rule: Rules relating to noxious weed seed and plant quarantine, chapter 16-752 WAC.

Purpose: Amendment of existing rule to add species to the list of invasive, nonnative weed seed and plant species that are prohibited from distribution into or within the state. Also, clarification and update of rule language and taxonomy.

Statutory Authority for Adoption: Chapter 17.24 RCW, RCW 17.10.074 (1)(c).

Statute Being Implemented: Chapters 17.24, 17.10 RCW.

Summary: This schedules an additional hearing. The originally scheduled hearing on November 8 will also be held. This document also extends the date for written comment and the intended adoption date.

Name of Agency Personnel Responsible for Drafting: Mary Toohey, 1111 Washington Street, Olympia, WA 98504-2560, (360) 902-1907; Implementation and Enforcement: Tom Wessels, 1111 Washington Street, Olympia, WA 98504-2560, (360) 902-1984.

Name of Proponent: Washington State Noxious Weed Control Board and Washington State Weed Coordinators Association, public and governmental.

Rule is not necessitated by federal law, federal or state court decision.

Explanation of Rule, its Purpose, and Anticipated Effects: The existing rule forbids distribution, sale, transportation, and other movement in channels of trade of thirty-two highly invasive, nonnative plants classified as noxious weeds. This is necessary to prevent or minimize introduction of these plants through the nursery or seed trade, as the cost of control or eradication would be significant, both to landowners and to local/state agencies. The amendments are intended to add another twenty-four species of equal or greater undesirability to the list. The anticipated result is exclusion and prevention of establishment of these noxious weed species.

Proposal Changes the Following Existing Rules: Proposal adds twenty-four new plant species to the list of species that are prohibited from distribution as whole plants, plant parts or seed. These additional species are all classified as noxious weeds in chapter 16-750 WAC, meaning that they cannot be grown in this state and that, if found, they are subject to levels of mandatory control measures as authorized by chapter 17.10 RCW. Twenty of these weeds are classified as Class A noxious weeds. Three of the others are Class B noxious weeds of such limited distribution that eradication from the state is still a possibility. The remaining one is not only a Class B noxious weed, but also a hybrid of two species already listed in WAC 16-752-610. In addition, clarifications and updates of format and taxonomic terminology are proposed.

No small business economic impact statement has been prepared under chapter 19.85 RCW. The rule change is a net financial benefit to the state and offers negligible (if any) net loss to the affected industries. This rule change is intended to exclude or minimize introduction of twenty-four invasive, nonnative plant species which are potentially extremely costly to the environmental quality and agricultural industry of the state. This rule proposal is a companion to the existing noxious weed statute and rules. Its effect would be the prohibition of sale and distribution of species that already cannot legally be grown in this state. If any of these plant species are found growing in this state, they are subject to control and eradication efforts that are costly to both landowners and county/state agencies. The rule provisions present negligible cost to the seed, nursery and allied industries, as they have no legitimate market for species which their customers are forbidden to grow. If these weeds are allowed to become established or to increase in this state, the immediate cost of dealing with the infestations would far outweigh the cost of implementing this rule proposal.

Section 201, chapter 403, Laws of 1995, does not apply to this rule adoption. The Washington State Department of Agriculture is not a listed agency in section 201.

Hearing Location: Washington State Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Building, 1111 Washington Street, 1st Floor, Room 175A, Olympia, WA 98504-2560, on November 21, 2000, at 9:00 a.m.

Assistance for Persons with Disabilities: Contact Lou Jones by November 14, 2000, TDD (360) 902-1996, or (360) 902-1806.

Submit Written Comments to: Mary Toohey, Assistant Director, Washington State Department of Agriculture, Lab Services Division, P.O. Box 42560, Olympia, WA 98504-2560, e-mail mtoohey@agr.wa.gov, fax (360) 902-2094, by November 21, 2000.

Date of Intended Adoption: November 28, 2000.

October 16, 2000

Mary A. Martin Toohey

Assistant Director

Washington State Code Reviser's Office