WSR 05-09-095

PREPROPOSAL STATEMENT OF INQUIRY

DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE


[ Filed April 20, 2005, 7:59 a.m. ]

Subject of Possible Rule Making: The department is considering enacting a potato tuber moth quarantine area within a portion or all of the state, to protect uninfested areas of western Washington.

Statutes Authorizing the Agency to Adopt Rules on this Subject: Chapters 17.24 and 34.05 RCW.

Reasons Why Rules on this Subject may be Needed and What They Might Accomplish: Rule making has been requested by the Washington Seed Potato Commission. The potato tuber moth is an extremely serious pest of potato production worldwide. It causes damage by burrowing into potato tubers held in storage, creating conditions for bacterial infection, which makes them unfit for consumption or use as seed. Recent surveys for tuber moth indicate that it does not currently occur in northwest areas of the state. Shipment of potatoes grown or stored in tuber moth infested areas creates a pathway for transmitting the potato tuber moth to noninfested areas. Placing restrictions on transporting potatoes, particularly culls for livestock feed, from infested areas may be useful in protecting the seed and other potato growers in northwest Washington.

Other Federal and State Agencies that Regulate this Subject and the Process Coordinating the Rule with These Agencies: None.

Process for Developing New Rule: Department staff will discuss any proposed amendments 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 Tom Wessels, Plant Services Program Manager, Plant Protection Division, Washington State Department of Agriculture, P.O. Box 42560, Olympia, WA 98504-2560, phone (360) 902-1984, fax (360) 902-2094, e-mail twessels@agr.wa.gov.

April 20, 2005

Mary A. Martin Toohey

Assistant Director

Washington State Code Reviser's Office