WSR 02-22-090

PREPROPOSAL STATEMENT OF INQUIRY

DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE


[ Filed November 6, 2002, 10:05 a.m. ]

Subject of Possible Rule Making: Special restrictions to be placed upon pesticides containing the active ingredient thiamethoxam (Actara). Restrictions may be developed for use of this product when used to treat pome fruits.

Statutes Authorizing the Agency to Adopt Rules on this Subject: Pesticide Control Act, chapter 15.58 RCW and the Pesticide Application Act, chapter 17.21 RCW.

Reasons Why Rules on this Subject may be Needed and What They Might Accomplish: The Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) has received several reports of bee kills that appear to be related to the use of Actara (active ingredient - thiamethoxam) in pome fruits. The label restrictions for Actara do not appear to be adequate to prevent the occurrence of additional bee kills. Honey bees are essential for the pollination of pome fruits and need enhanced protection.

Note: If new rules are adopted as a result of this CR-101 the department intends to repeal the rule when WSDA and Syngenta have determined that existing stocks of Actara have been exhausted.

Other Federal and State Agencies that Regulate this Subject and the Process Coordinating the Rule with These Agencies: USEPA is responsible or developing restrictions on federal pesticide labels to protect pollinators. WSDA has contacted USEPA regarding the adequacy of label restrictions for Actara, and has discussed the issue with the registrant. WSDA will consider adoption of rules that restrict the use of thiamethoxam in pome fruits if the Actara label is not revised to provide adequate protection of pollinators. In addition EPA has delegated WSDA Pesticide Management Division as the state lead agency for the enforcement of pesticide regulations in Washington state.

Process for Developing New Rule: WSDA is requesting input from beekeepers, tree fruit growers, pesticide dealers and consultants, WSU research and extension personnel, the registrant, and all other interested parties regarding (1) the adequacy of current Actara label restrictions to protect pollinators and (2) the need for WSDA to adopt rules restricting the use of thiamethoxam in pome fruits. If the Actara label is not revised to provide adequate protection of pollinators, then WSDA will form an advisory committee to develop rules restricting the use of Actara in pome fruits. Note: WSDA is not currently considering any restrictions which would prohibit the use of Actara, rather restrictions are being considered which will allow the use of Actara while at the same time provide adequate protection for pollinators.

Interested parties can participate in the decision to adopt the new rule and formulation of the proposed rule before publication. For questions contact Erik Johansen, Washington State Department of Agriculture, Pesticide Management Division, P.O. Box 42589, Olympia, WA 98504-2589, (360) 902-2078, fax (360) 902-2093 or e-mail ejohansen@agr.wa.gov.

Submit comments to Laurie Mauerman, Washington State Department of Agriculture, Pesticide Management Division, P.O. Box 42560, Olympia, WA 98504-2560, fax (360) 902-2093, e-mail lmauerman@agr.wa.gov.

November 6, 2002

Bob Arrington

Assistant Director

Washington State Code Reviser's Office