PREPROPOSAL STATEMENT OF INQUIRY
Subject of Possible Rule Making: This rule-making inquiry would review rules relating to minimum regulatory fees for class 1 utilities and transportation industries, except motor freight carriers, to consider whether to amend those rules to increase the minimum regulatory fee, not to exceed the estimated cost of collecting the fee, and to consider rules that would waive collection of the minimum fee. In addition, this rule making would consider developing a rule that would address regulatory fees for railroads since no rule exists for that industry.
Statutes Authorizing the Agency to Adopt Rules on this Subject: RCW 80.01.040, 80.04.160, 81.04.160, and chapter 296, Laws of 2003.
Reasons Why Rules on this Subject may be Needed and What They Might Accomplish: Chapter 296, Laws of 2003, amends RCW 80.24.010, 81.24.010, 81.24.020, 81.24.030, and 81.77.080 by deleting language that set statutory minimum fees for some industries and adding language that allows the commission to set by rule minimum fees that do not exceed the cost of collecting the fees, or to waive minimum fees entirely. This rule making would consider increasing the minimum regulatory fees for class 1 utilities and transportation industries, except motor freight carriers, consistent with the amended statutes. Existing minimum fees of $1.00 to $5.00 are outdated and insufficient to cover the cost of collecting and tracking the annual regulatory fees. Because no equivalent rule exists for railroads, this rule making would consider developing a minimum regulatory fee rule for rail.
Process for Developing New Rule: Agency study; and the commission will ask for initial written comments, and will provide the opportunity for additional comments. The commission will conduct a workshop if there is stakeholder interest or disagreement.
Interested parties can participate in the decision to adopt the new rule and formulation of the proposed rule before publication by contacting the Secretary, Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission, P.O. Box 47250, 1300 South Evergreen Park Drive S.W., Olympia, WA 98504-7250, phone (360) 664-1174, fax (360) 586-1150.
Interested persons may file written comments on the CR-101 by September 24, 2003. For specific information regarding opportunities for written comment and to ensure receipt of further information concerning this rule making, please see below.
WRITTEN COMMENTS: Written comments may be submitted to the commission at the address given above and should be filed with the commission no later than September 24, 2003.
Electronic copies: The commission requests that comments be provided in electronic format to enhance public access, for ease of providing comments, to reduce the need for paper copies, and to facilitate quotations from the comments. Comments may be submitted by electronic mail to the Commission's Records Center at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include:
• The docket number of this proceeding (A-031232)
• The commenting party's name
• The title and date of the comment or comments
An alternative method for submitting comments may be by mailing/delivering an electronic copy on a 3 1/2 inch, IBM-formatted, high-density disk, in .pdf Adobe Acrobat format or in Word 97 or later. Include all of the information requested above. The commission will post on the commission's website all comments that are provided in electronic format. The website is located at http://www.wutc.wa.gov/031232. If you are unable to file your comments electronically or to submit them on a disk, the commission will always accept a paper document.
Opportunity for further comment is anticipated. Information about the schedule and other aspects of the rule making, including comments, will be posted on the commission's website as it becomes available. If you wish to receive further information on this rule making you may (1) call the Commission's Records Center at (360) 664-1234, (2) e-mail the commission at <email@example.com>, or (3) mail written comments to the address above to the attention of Carole J. Washburn, Secretary. When contacting the commission, please refer to Docket No. A-031232 to ensure that you are placed on the appropriate service list. Questions may be addressed to Barbara Weigel, (360) 664-1157 or e-mail at <firstname.lastname@example.org>.
September 3, 2003
Carole J. Washburn