May 3, 2016

Washington

SB 6551 was introduced in January 2016.

If enacted, the bill would prohibit the Department of Ecology from investigating a “suspected discharge from agricultural activity” based on information from an anonymous third party. Additionally, if the Department of Ecology issues a notice of violation related to “discharges from agricultural activity” based on information provided by a third party, the Department must reveal the name of the third party to the person receiving the notice of violation.

HB 1104 was introduced in January 2015.

If enacted, the bill would criminalize “interference with agricultural production.”

“Interference with agricultural production” would include: (1) a non-employee entering an agricultural facility by misrepresentation; (2) obtaining records of an agricultural facility by misrepresentation or trespass; (3) obtaining employment with an agricultural facility by misrepresentation with the intent to cause economic or physical injury to the facility’s operations, property, or goodwill, including business interests or customers; (4) entering a non-public agricultural facility, and without authorization, recording the facility’s operations; or (5) intentionally causing economic or physical injury to the agricultural facility’s operations, property, personnel, or goodwill, including business interests or customers.

“Interference” would be punishable as a gross misdemeanor by up to 364 days in jail and a $5,000 fine. Additionally, if the person caused economic or physical injury as a result of the “interference,” the court would be empowered to impose a fine of up to double the amount of the victim’s losses.

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