WSR 02-05-089

PREPROPOSAL STATEMENT OF INQUIRY

DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE


[ Filed February 20, 2002, 11:48 a.m. ]

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

Statutes Authorizing the Agency to Adopt Rules on this Subject: Chapters 17.24 and 17.10 RCW.

Reasons Why Rules on this Subject may be Needed and What They Might Accomplish: Kudzu, Pueraria sp., is an extremely invasive woody vine weed species that has caused sever economic and environmental problems in the southeastern region of the United States. In August 2001, a small, rapidly growing infestation was discovered and eradicated in Clark County. Amendment of the existing noxious weed seed and plant quarantine rule to add one or two kudzu species to the list of species forbidden from sale or distribution in the state was requested by the Washington State Noxious Weed Control Board and the Washington State Weed Coordinators Association. The quarantine is intended to aid in prevention of kudzu introduction and spread in this state.

Other Federal and State Agencies that Regulate this Subject and the Process Coordinating the Rule with These Agencies: USDA APHIS regulates a limited number of species under the federal noxious weed regulations. However, the federal list is mainly intended to apply to international shipment, and the federal agency is not usually active in interstate or intrastate noxious weed regulation. The state office of USDA APHIS will be notified. The Washington State Noxious Weed Control Board establishes the state noxious weed list under authority of chapter 17.10 RCW. It requested addition of kudzu species to WSDA quarantine rules to complement its own and the county noxious weed boards' efforts.

Process for Developing New Rule: The Washington State Noxious Weed Control Board and the Washington State Weed Coordinators Association have requested the changes to this rule. Representatives of the Washington State Department of Agriculture discuss specific provisions of the proposal with interested agencies and stakeholders such as the Nursery Advisory Board, 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 Mary A. Martin Toohey, Assistant Director, Washington State Department of Agriculture, Laboratory Services Division, P.O. Box 42560, Olympia, WA 98504-2560, phone (360) 902-1907, fax (360) 902-2094, e-mail mtoohey@agr.wa.gov.

February 20, 2002

Mary A. Martin Toohey

Assistant Director

Washington State Code Reviser's Office