PREPROPOSAL STATEMENT OF INQUIRY
Subject of Possible Rule Making: Chapter 16-324 WAC rules for the certification of seed potatoes. The agency is considering amending the certification requirements for seed potatoes as a result of a petition submitted by the Washington seed potato commission.
Statutes Authorizing the Agency to Adopt Rules on this Subject: RCW 15.14.015.
Reasons Why Rules on this Subject may be Needed and What They Might Accomplish: Seed potato certification is an effective means of controlling systemic diseases/pests such as virus diseases in commercial potato crops. As a vegetatively propagated annual crop, potatoes tend to accumulate viruses that eventually affect production and quality. Washington commercial potato growers rely on certified seed to minimize the effects of these pests. Although the certification system has been in place for decades, the pressure from diseases is constantly changing. Current certification practices are no longer adequate to control diseases/pests of concern. Changes to the existing certification requirements are necessary to protect the Washington seed potato crop from harmful pathogens and will also bring the program more into harmony with adjoining states.
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 Mary A. Martin Toohey, Assistant Director, Plant Protection Division, Washington State Department of Agriculture, P.O. Box 42560, Olympia, WA 98504-2560, phone (360) 902-1907, fax (360) 902-2094, e-mail email@example.com; or 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
February 4, 2013
Mary A. Martin Toohey