Montana Administrative Register Notice 4-14-216 No. 2   01/30/2014    
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In the matter of the amendment of ARM 4.5.313 pertaining to Noxious Weed Seed Free Forage minimum fees






TO: All Concerned Persons


            1.  On February 19, 2014, at 1:00 p.m., the Department of Agriculture will hold a public hearing in Room 225 of the Scott Hart Building, 302 N. Roberts, Helena, Montana, to consider the proposed amendment of the above-stated rule.


2. The Department of Agriculture will make reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities who wish to participate in this rulemaking process or need an alternative accessible format of this notice. If you require an accommodation, contact Department of Agriculture no later than 5:00 p.m. on February 14, 2014, to advise us of the nature of the accommodation that you need. Please contact Cort Jensen, Department of Agriculture, PO Box 200201, Helena, Montana, 59620; telephone (406) 444-3144; fax (406) 444-5409; or e-mail cojensen@mt.gov.


3. The rule as proposed to be amended provides as follows, deleted matter interlined, new matter underlined:


4.5.313 FEES  (1) A field inspection fee of $4.50 per acre or a $25 45 minimum charge per field for forage inspection will be charged to the person for whom the forage was inspected. State mileage and per diem rates may also be assessed by the department or its agents.

(2) remains the same.

            (3) Agents must submit a copy of the department completed inspection form and submit $2.25 per acre or $20.00 22.50 minimum inspection fee, whichever is greater, by September 15 of each year to ensure that the persons producing certified forage will be included on the NWSFF producer list.

            (4) through (7) remain the same.


AUTH: 80-7-905, 80-7-907, 80-7-908, MCA

IMP: 80-7-905, 80-7-907, 80-7-908, MCA


REASON: During the recent administrative rule change that addressed noxious weed seed free forage fees, the minimum charge per field for forage inspections was not changed and should have been changed under ARM 4.5.313(1) from $25 to $45. In addition, under ARM 4.5.313(3) the minimum inspection fee was incorrectly stated as $20.00, instead of $22.50. The proposed changes will accurately reflect the 10-acre minimum.


ECONOMIC IMPACT STATEMENT: There were 83 field inspections in 2013 that were 10 acres or less and paid the minimum fee. The cost of those inspections with 10 acres or less will increase by $20.00.


In the second instance, as the administrative rule is currently written, agents (inspectors) are required to submit $20.00 of the $25 minimum charge to the department, leaving the agent with only $5. This results in less funding for the agents than was intended and does not reflect the intended 50/50 split between the department and the agent. The change will restore the 50/50 split, providing the agent with $22.50 of the $45 minimum charge. Individual agent revenue from inspections is dependent upon the number of acres inspected in a particular growing season.


            4. Concerned persons may submit their data, views, or arguments either orally or in writing at the hearing. Written data, views, or arguments may also be submitted to: Cort Jensen, Department of Agriculture, PO Box 200201, Helena, Montana, 59620; telephone (406) 444-3144; fax (406) 444-5409; or e-mail cojensen@mt.gov, and must be received no later than 5:00 p.m., February 27, 2014.


5. Cort Jensen, Department of Agriculture, has been designated to preside over and conduct this hearing.


6. The department maintains a list of interested persons who wish to receive notices of rulemaking actions proposed by this agency. Persons who wish to have their name added to the list shall make a written request that includes the name, e-mail, and mailing address of the person to receive notices and specifies for which program the person wishes to receive notices. Notices will be sent by e-mail unless a mailing preference is noted in the request. Such written request may be mailed or delivered to the contact person in 4 above or may be made by completing a request form at any rules hearing held by the department.


7. An electronic copy of this proposal notice is available through the Secretary of State's web site at http://sos.mt.gov/ARM/Register.  The Secretary of State strives to make the electronic copy of the notice conform to the official version of the notice, as printed in the Montana Administrative Register, but advises all concerned persons that in the event of a discrepancy between the official printed text of the notice and the electronic version of the notice, only the official printed text will be considered.  In addition, although the Secretary of State works to keep its web site accessible at all times, concerned persons should be aware that the web site may be unavailable during some periods, due to system maintenance or technical problems.


8. The bill sponsor contact requirements of 2-4-302, MCA, do not apply.


9. With regard to the requirements of 2-4-111, MCA, the department has determined that the amendment of the above-referenced rule will significantly and directly impact small businesses.



/s/ Cort Jensen                                           /s/ Ron de Yong                  

Cort Jensen                                                Ron de Yong

Rule Reviewer                                             Director

                                                                        Department of Agriculture


Certified to the Secretary of State January 21, 2014.








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