WSR 06-22-068

PREPROPOSAL STATEMENT OF INQUIRY

DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE


[ Filed October 30, 2006, 1:56 p.m. ]

Subject of Possible Rule Making: Amend chapter 16-409 WAC, Standards for asparagus, by making changes to WAC 16-409-022 relevant to grades; WAC 16-409-024 relevant to size requirements; and WAC 16-409-065 relevant to fresh asparagus containers; and make any other amendments that are necessary to update the chapter and increase its clarity.

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: Growers, packers, and shippers would be allowed to market grade standards and sizes in accordance with USDA grade standards and sizes. Additionally, entities would be allowed to pack and market in 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: None.

Process for Developing New Rule: In response to a request from the Washington asparagus commission, Washington state department of agriculture staff members 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 and comment process, the dates of which will be announced when the agency 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.

October 27, 2006

Dennis Hannapel

Assistant Director

Washington State Code Reviser's Office