WSR 02-18-023

PROPOSED RULES

DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE


[ Filed August 23, 2002, 8:32 a.m. ]

Continuance of WSR 02-14-092.

Preproposal statement of inquiry was filed as WSR 01-06-021.

Title of Rule: Chapter 16-228 WAC, rules relating to wood destroying organisms (WDO).

Purpose: The current rules are somewhat vague and difficult for structural pest inspectors, real estate agents, and consumers to comprehend. Clarification of existing rules will help inspectors to better understand what is required of them during a structural pest inspection. Additionally, consumers will have a greater understanding of the service to which they are entitled during an inspection.

Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 15.58.040 and chapter 34.05 RCW.

Statute Being Implemented: RCW 15.58.040 (2)(k).

Summary: This continuance changes the intended date of adoption for WAC 16-228-2005, 16-228-2015, 16-228-2025, 16-228-2035, 16-228-2050, and 16-228-2060 to November 20, 2002. This continuance also changed the adoption date of repeal WAC 16-228-2000, 16-228-2020, 16-228-2030, and 16-228-2040 to November 20, 2002.

Reasons Supporting Proposal: All individuals and businesses that conduct structural pest inspections in Washington state will be positively impacted by the new rules. By using these rules as enforceable guidelines, structural pest inspectors will be less likely to overlook or fail to report WDOs, damage, or conducive conditions resulting in an increased level of consumer protection.

Name of Agency Personnel Responsible for Drafting, Implementation and Enforcement: Cliff Weed and Dan Suomi, 1111 Washington Street, Olympia, WA 98504, (360) 902-2036.

Name of Proponent: Department of Agriculture, governmental.

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

Explanation of Rule, its Purpose, and Anticipated Effects: The proposed rules will define terms associated with WDO inspections, identify the types of and specify the uses for WDO inspections and reports, and establish minimum rules under which WDO inspections must be conducted and reports written in the state of Washington. The current rules are somewhat vague and difficult for structural pest inspectors, real estate agents, and consumers to comprehend. Clarification of the current rules will help inspectors to better understand what is required of them during a structural pest inspection. Additionally, consumers will have a greater understanding of the service to which they are entitled during an inspection. Unless the current rules are revised, consumers will not be afforded adequate protection from false or fraudulent structural pest inspections.

All individuals and businesses that conduct structural pest inspections in Washington state will be positively impacted by the new rules. By using these rules as enforceable guidelines, structural pest inspectors will be less likely to overlook or fail to report WDOs, damage, or conducive conditions resulting in an increased level of consumer protection.

Proposal Changes the Following Existing Rules: The changes to the existing rules include:

A clarified and expanded definition section. Examples of new definitions include wood, frass and structure.

Clarified wood destroying organisms reporting and determination of their presence. Examples include carpenter ants, dampwood termites and wood decay fungi.

Clarified information on what constitutes a conducive condition. Situation dependent language was added to clarify when a conducive condition is present. Examples include earth to wood contact, standing water, moisture from plumbing leaks.

Clarify exactly when a WDO inspection must be conducted and the limits of an inspection.

No small business economic impact statement has been prepared under chapter 19.85 RCW. The only new requirement in the proposed rules that may impose a new cost on those individuals and business who conduct structural pest inspections in Washington state is the requirement that a copy of the inspection diagram is a part of the inspection report and must be given to the consumer along with the report. The department believes that the cost of providing a customer with a copy of an inspection diagram, which an inspector is already required to prepare under current rules, does not constitute a "more than minor cost" under RCW 19.85.030 (1)(a), therefore a small business economic impact statement is not required.

RCW 34.05.328 does not apply to this rule adoption. The Washington state Department of Agriculture is not a listed agency in RCW 34.05.328 (5)(a)(i).

Date of Intended Adoption: November 20, 2002.

August 23, 2002

Ann Wick

Acting Assistant Director

Washington State Code Reviser's Office