WSR 07-10-113

PROPOSED RULES

DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE


[ Filed May 2, 2007, 9:04 a.m. ]

Original Notice.

Preproposal statement of inquiry was filed as WSR 07-06-046.

Title of Rule and Other Identifying Information: The department proposes to make amendments to chapter 16-390 WAC to increase the fee related to the fresh produce audit verification program and to make minor changes to increase its clarity. The sections to be amended are WAC 16-390-240 What is the fresh product audit verification program? and 16-390-242 What charges does the department assess for fruit and vegetable audit verification certificates issued under the fresh produce audit verification program?

Hearing Location(s): WSDA Yakima Office, 21 North First Avenue, Suite 226, Yakima, WA 98902, on Wednesday, June 27, 2007, at 1:00 p.m.; and at the Tree Fruit Research Center (Park on Western), 1100 North Western Avenue, Wenatchee, WA 98801, on Thursday, June 28, 2007, at 1:00 p.m.

Date of Intended Adoption: July 30, 2007.

Submit Written Comments to: Maryann Connell, Division Coordinator, Washington State Department of Agriculture, P.O. Box 42560, Olympia, WA 98504-2560, e-mail mconnell@agr.wa.gov, fax (360) 902-2085, by 5:00 p.m. on June 28, 2007.

Assistance for Persons with Disabilities: Contact Virginia Walsh by June 20, 2007, TTY (360) 902-1996 or (360) 902-1976.

Purpose of the Proposal and Its Anticipated Effects, Including Any Changes in Existing Rules: The proposed amendments to chapter 16-390 WAC, WSDA fruit and vegetable inspection districts, inspection fees and other charges, will increase the hourly audit fees for good agricultural practices and good handling practices in excess of the office of financial management fiscal growth rate factor. WAC 16-390-240 will have a minor edit to more clearly define the fresh produce audit verification program and WAC 16-390-242 will be amended to increase the hourly rate from $49.00 to $75.00 per hour for audit-based services.

Reasons Supporting Proposal: United States Department of Agriculture, agricultural marketing service, fruit and vegetable programs, fresh products branch has added a good agricultural practices and good handling practices audit fee, changing the hourly service for GAP and GHP audits from $49.00 per hour to $75.00 per hour. The cooperative agreement between the United States Department of Agriculture, agricultural marketing service and Washington state department of agriculture states that WSDA will not charge less than USDA for the same services.

Statutory Authority for Adoption: Chapter 15.17 RCW, Standards of grades and packs and chapter 34.05 RCW, Administrative Procedure Act.

Statute Being Implemented: Chapter 15.17 RCW, Standards of grades and packs.

Rule is not necessitated by federal law, federal or state court decision.

Name of Proponent: Washington state department of agriculture, governmental.

Name of Agency Personnel Responsible for Drafting, Implementation, Enforcement: Jim Quigley, Program Manager, P.O. Box 42560, Olympia, WA 98504-2560, (360) 902-1833.

No small business economic impact statement has been prepared under chapter 19.85 RCW. RCW 19.85.030 (1)(a) requires an agency to prepare a small business economic impact statement (SBEIS) for proposed rules that impose a more than minor cost on the business in an industry. The GAP and GHP audit fees under consideration are provided as a voluntary service to industry, so industry may decline a GAP or GHP audit or use other audit sources without paying the department's fee.

RCW 19.85.040(1) requires that an agency determine whether the proposed rule will have a disproportionate impact on small businesses by comparing the cost of compliance for small business with the cost of compliance for the ten percent of businesses that are the largest businesses required to comply. The GAP and GHP audit fees under consideration are provided as a voluntary service to industry, so industry may decline GAP or GHP audit or use other audit sources without paying the department's fee.

A cost-benefit analysis is not required under RCW 34.05.328. Washington state department of agriculture is not a named agency in RCW 34.05.328.

May 2, 2007

Dennis Hannapel

Assistant Director

OTS-9726.1


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 04-11-078, filed 5/18/04, effective 6/18/04)

WAC 16-390-240   What is the fresh produce audit verification program?   The fresh produce audit verification program is a federal-state inspection service program that reviews and verifies a participating company's facility and agronomic practices, along with its documented procedures, to help determine if "good agricultural practices" and "good handling practices" are maintained.

[Statutory Authority: Chapters 15.17, 34.05 RCW, and 2003 1st sp.s. c 25. 04-11-078, 16-390-240, filed 5/18/04, effective 6/18/04.]


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 04-11-078, filed 5/18/04, effective 6/18/04)

WAC 16-390-242   What charges does the department assess for fruit and vegetable audit verification certificates issued under the fresh produce audit verification program?   Charges assessed by the department for good agricultural practices (GAP) and good handling practices (GHP) audit verification certificates issued under the fresh produce audit verification program are as follows:

(1) The hourly rate for audit time, administration time and applicable travel time is ((charged at the hourly rate established by USDA/AMS/FPB/FVP the Schedule of Fees for Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Terminal Market Inspection Services, 7 CFR Part 51 Subpart 38, which became effective on January 15, 2004)) seventy-five dollars per audit hour.

(2) Mileage related to GAP and GHP audit services is charged at the rate established by the office of financial management (OFM) at the time the service was performed.

[Statutory Authority: Chapters 15.17, 34.05 RCW, and 2003 1st sp.s. c 25. 04-11-078, 16-390-242, filed 5/18/04, effective 6/18/04.]

Washington State Code Reviser's Office