WSR 04-07-045



[ Filed March 10, 2004, 9:11 a.m. ]

     Subject of Possible Rule Making: Chapter 16-402 WAC, this proposal may establish reporting and record-keeping requirements for licensed nurseries for shipments of plants from outside the state. The proposal may also establish mandatory holding periods before plants form outside the state may be sold, distributed, or transported or delivered to another location, to allow for their inspection.

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

     Reasons Why Rules on this Subject may be Needed and What They Might Accomplish: Washington state has experienced several instances of entry into or presence in this state of nursery stock infested with phytophthera [phytophthora] ramorum, the causative organism of the invasive, exotic plant disease sudden oak death. Sudden oak death has a wide host range, including native species such as rhododendrons, Douglas fir and bigleaf maple and other common species such as camellia and pieris. Although evidence indicates the disease is not at this time established outside a few regulated nurseries, it is a serious economic and environmental threat. It may be necessary to implement inspection requirements for nursery stock entering the state, in order to locate and eradicate populations of the organism before they can become established.

     Other Federal and State Agencies that Regulate this Subject and the Process Coordinating the Rule with These Agencies: No other state agencies regulate this subject. Although United States Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service regulates certain aspects of sudden oak death exclusion and eradication, the federal agency has no reporting requirements of this nature.

     Process for Developing New Rule: Department staff will discuss the proposal with affected stakeholders. Affected stakeholders will also have an opportunity to submit written comments on the proposed rules during the public comment period and will be able to present oral testimony at the public hearing.

     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, Plant Protection Division, P.O. Box 42560, Olympia, WA 98504-2560, phone (360) 902-1907, fax (360) 902-2094, e-mail; or Tom Wessels, Plant Services Program Manager, Washington State Department of Agriculture, Plant Protection Division, P.O. Box 42560, Olympia, WA 98504-2560, phone (360) 902-1984, fax (360) 902-2094, e-mail

March 9, 2004

Mary A. Martin Toohey

Assistant Director