WSR 06-03-037



[ Filed January 10, 2006, 10:26 a.m. ]

     Subject of Possible Rule Making: The department of agriculture proposes to (1) update specific areas of the Washington grade standards for consistency and continuity to changes in the United States apple grades; and (2) exclude "smooth net-like russet" as a defect for Fuji apples in the Washington grade standard.

     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 rules are necessary in order to bring the Washington state grade standards equal to or higher that [than] the existing United States grading standards. In addition, the industry has determined that smooth net-like russeting is indicative of the fugi variety and should not be considered as a defect.

     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 state horticulture association (WSHA), grade and pack committee, the Washington state department of agriculture staff will develop the rule proposal. In turn, industry representatives and the WSHA grade and pack committee 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 with [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, Fruit and Vegetable Inspection Program Manager, P.O. Box 42560, Olympia, WA 98504-2560, phone (360) 902-1833, fax (360) 902-2085, e-mail

January 9, 2006

Robert W. Gore

Assistant Director

Commodity Inspection Division