Pursuant to RCW 34.05.330(3), you are hereby notified for publication in the Washington State Register that:
On May 7, 2007, the Governor's Office received an appeal from Mr. Randy Boss relating to the Department of Transportation's denial of a petition to repeal or amend WAC 468-300-801 through -890. The Governor denied the Petition on June 21, 2007.
DATE: June 21, 2007
Richard E. Mitchell
General Counsel to the Governor
June 21, 2007
P.O. Box 237
Gig Harbor, WA 98335
Re: Administrative Rule Appeal - WAC 468-300-801 through -890
Dear Mr. Boss:
Thank you for your May 1 and May 23, 2007, letters regarding the Washington State Department of Transportation's (WSDOT) final rules pertaining to the collection of tolls on state transportation facilities. After careful review, I have decided to deny your petition.
Your April 30, 2007, e-mail to Sharon Randolph, AAG and Marta Carlo, WSDOT, outlines two primary reasons for appealing the above-referenced WSDOT rules. You state that by changing the definition of V-Toll1 in the final rule, WSDOT substantially changed the proposed rule. As a result, the public did not have an opportunity to comment on the provisions of the final rule. You also state that the potential lack of notice to a "Good to Go!" customer that his or her account would be charged removes the customer's ability to challenge the photo monitoring evidence resulting in a debit to the customer's account.
I have concluded that WSDOT did not substantially change the proposed rule. The provisions of the rule regarding customers with an electronic account have not changed. The definition V-Toll in the proposed rule applied broadly to all individuals who used a toll facility and did not pay the toll. Additional language in WAC 468-300-870 (2)(a) explicitly said that customers with an electric account who did not pay the toll would have the toll automatically removed from their account. Additionally, the passage of Substitute Senate Bill (SSB) 5391 by the 2007 Legislature clarified the infraction process and provided for a penalty amount that would be distributed to the appropriate toll facility. As a result, it is no longer necessary for the WSDOT rule to provide for a process to collect tolls from non-toll payers without electronic accounts. The changes reflected in the final rule simply make the rule consistent with recent legislative actions.
I have also concluded that electronic toll customers will have sufficient notice regarding the potential of an automatic toll charge to their account. The original and final rules explicitly provide notice to the public regarding the potential for an automatic charge. Additionally, the customer agreements for customers with an electronic toll account will also reflect the process for automatically debiting the customer's account.
I appreciate your concerns regarding proper public notice in the rule-making process, as well as the necessity for notifying consumers of the potential for charges to an electronic toll account. Thank you again for your efforts to ensure that our state's rule-making practices are thorough and complete.
Christine O. Gregoire
1"Video-toll" or "V-Toll" is an alternative method of toll collection from a "Good to Go!TM" account holder. If a "Good to Go!TM" account holder uses the toll facility but does not pay the toll because his or her transponder is not properly mounted on the account holder's registered vehicle a photo-monitoring system captures the vehicle's license plate and the toll will be posted to the "Good to Go!TM" account.