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AGO 1950 No. 197 - January 18, 1950
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Smith Troy | 1941-1952 | Attorney General of Washington

WEED-KILLERS -- REGULATION AND CONTROL

The Aeronautics Commission is authorized to regulate and control the use and application of weed-killers by aerial sprayers and dusters.

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                                                                 January 18, 1950

Honorable Charles S. Chester
Director of Aeronautics
Washington State Aeronautics Commission
Suite 410, 905 Second Avenue Building
Seattle 4, Washington                                                                                                              Cite as:  AGO 49-51 No. 197

Dear Sir:

            We have received your letter of November 28, 1949, in which you asked the following questions:

            "(1) Can the Director of Agriculture under any existing law issue regulations controlling the use and application of 2-4D or other weed-killer by commercial sprayers or dusters?

            "(2) Can the State Aeronautics Commission under the State Aeronautics Act (Ch. 165, Laws of 1947) issue regulations controlling the use and application of 2-4D or other weed-killer by aerial commercial sprayers or dusters?"

            Our conclusions may be summarized as follows:

            (1) The Director of Agriculture is not authorized to regulate and control the application of weed-killers by commercial sprayers or dusters.

            (2) The State Aeronautics Commission is authorized to regulate and control the application of weed-killers by aerial sprayers and dusters.

             [[Orig. Op. Page 2]]

                                                                     ANALYSIS

            Section 21, chapter 165, Laws of 1947 [10964-101, Rem. Supp. 1947] provides in part as follows:

            "The Commission may perform such acts, issue and amend such orders, make promulgate, and amend such reasonable general rules, regulations and procedures, and establish such minimum standards, consistent with the provisions of this act, as it shall deem necessary to perform its duties hereunder; all commensurate with and for the purpose of protecting and insuring the general public interest and safety, the safety of persons operating, using or traveling in aircraft or persons receiving instruction in flying or ground subjects pertaining to aeronautics, and the safety of persons and property on land or water, and developing and promoting aeronautics in this state. * * *"

            Because the aerial application of weed-killers endangers the safety of persons and property on land or water, said section empowers the Aeronautics Commission to promulgate rules and regulations to regulate and control said aerial application of weed-killers.  The Director of Agriculture has no specific authority over the application of weed-killers.  However, the Aeronautics Commission can ask for and receive the assistance of the facilities and services of the Department of Agriculture in regulating and controlling the aerial application of weed-killers under the provisions of section 30, chapter 165, Laws of 1947 [10964-110, Rem. Supp. 1947].

Yours very truly,

SMITH TROY
Attorney General

ELROY F. WIEHL
Assistant Attorney General

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