WSR 06-06-110

PREPROPOSAL STATEMENT OF INQUIRY

DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE


[ Filed March 1, 2006, 11:49 a.m. ]

Subject of Possible Rule Making: Amend WAC 16-414-005 by including Rainier cherries or other light sweet cherry varieties under the "mature" soluble solids requirements. Amend WAC 16-414-011 thereby including size requirements for the Rainier cherry or other light sweet cherry varieties and WAC 16-461-010 which will require Rainier or other light sweet cherry varieties to meet WAC 16-414-05 [16-414-055] "mature" and WAC 16-414-011(3) size requirements. Eliminate the container requirements (WAC 16-414-085) for shipping sweet cherries.

Statutes Authorizing the Agency to Adopt Rules on this Subject: Chapter 15.17 RCW, Standards of grades and packs and chapter 34.05 RCW, Administrative Procedure Act.

Reasons Why Rules on this Subject may be Needed and What They Might Accomplish: These amendments will bring the Rainier cherry and other light sweet cherry varieties under state requirements for soluble solids "mature" and establish a size requirement which is currently required under federal Marketing Order 923. Removing the container requirements will allow growers/packers and shippers to pack and market various types of containers that may be requested or required by buyers and the consuming public.

Other Federal and State Agencies that Regulate this Subject and the Process Coordinating the Rule with These Agencies: United States Department of Agriculture (WSDA) Marketing Order 923. The fruit and vegetable inspection program will provide USDA with copies of any proposed rule amendments for their review and comment.

Process for Developing New Rule: In response to a request from the Washington State Horticulture Association, WSDA staff will develop the rule proposal. In turn, industry representatives will review and comment on the proposed rule amendments. Interested parties can participate in the public hearing/public comment process, the dates of which will be announced when the department files the rule proposal with the code reviser.

Interested parties can participate in the decision to adopt the new rule and formulation of the proposed rule before publication by contacting Jim Quigley, Program Manager, Fruit and Vegetable Inspection Program, P.O. Box 42560, Olympia, WA 98504-2560, phone (360) 902-1833, fax (360) 902-2085, e-mail jquigley@agr.wa.gov.

March 1, 2006

Robert W. Gore

Assistant Director

Washington State Code Reviser's Office