WSR 01-03-138

PREPROPOSAL STATEMENT OF INQUIRY

DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE


[ Filed January 23, 2001, 3:23 p.m. ]

Subject of Possible Rule Making: Establishing rules relating to exclusion and regulation of host material for Blueberry Scorch Virus, a serious economic pest of blueberries.

Statutes Authorizing the Agency to Adopt Rules on this Subject: Chapters 17.24 and 15.13 RCW.

Reasons Why Rules on this Subject may be Needed and What They Might Accomplish: Currently no rules are in place regarding Blueberry Scorch Virus in Washington state. The discovery of particularly virulent strains of Blueberry Scorch Virus in British Columbia and several states, and its potential for movement into Washington state is cause for possible rule making. Establishment of this virus would cause economic loss [in] the blueberry industry.

Other Federal and State Agencies that Regulate this Subject and the Process Coordinating the Rule with These Agencies: USDA APHIS has authority to quarantine and regulate for plant diseases, both interstate and internationally. The federal agency has not exercised its powers for many diseases, including blueberry scorch, know to be present in areas of the United States, leaving these issues to the states. There is well established precedent for advising and coordinating with USDA APHIS on plant health issues.

Process for Developing New Rule: Washington State Department of Agriculture representatives discuss proposed rule changes [with the] Washington Blueberry Commission, Washington State University Extension Service personnel with expertise in this area, other affected government agencies and stakeholders and then publish the rule proposal.

Interested parties can participate in the decision to adopt the new rule and formulation of the proposed rule before publication by contacting Clinton Campbell, PhD, Washington State Department of Agriculture, Laboratory Services Division, P.O. Box 42560, Olympia, WA 98504-2560, phone (360) 902-2071, fax (360) 902-2094, e-mail CCampbell@agr.wa.gov; or Art Wagner, Plant Pathology Project Coordinator, Washington State Department of Agriculture, Laboratory Services Division, P.O. Box 42560, Olympia, WA 98504-2560, phone (360) 586-5309, fax (360) 902-2094, e-mail Awagner@agr.wa.gov.

January 23, 2001

Mary A. Martin Toohey

Assistant Director

Washington State Code Reviser's Office