WSR 00-21-078

PROPOSED RULES

DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE


[ Filed October 17, 2000, 12:15 p.m. ]

Original Notice.

Exempt from preproposal statement of inquiry under RCW 34.05.310(4).

Title of Rule: Assessment on all varieties of blueberries in WAC 16-550-040.

Purpose: This rule provides for the annual assessment of blueberries established to support the purposes and objectives of the Washington Blueberry Commission provided for in the commission's marketing order.

Statutory Authority for Adoption: Chapter 15.65 RCW.

Statute Being Implemented: Chapter 15.65 RCW.

Summary: The proposal would reduce the assessment on all varieties of blueberries from three-quarters of a cent per affected unit (pound) to four-tenths of a cent per affected unit (pound).

Reasons Supporting Proposal: The reduction in assessment was requested by the Washington Blueberry Commission because a national blueberry program was recently adopted. The national program will be funded by an assessment of $12 per ton on domestic cultivated blueberries, beginning with the 2001 growing season.

Name of Agency Personnel Responsible for Drafting, Implementation and Enforcement: Deborah L. Anderson, 1111 Washington Street, Olympia, WA 98504-2560, (360) 902-1809.

Name of Proponent: Washington Blueberry Commission, governmental.

Agency Comments or Recommendations, if any, as to Statutory Language, Implementation, Enforcement, and Fiscal Matters: A decision by the director to adopt proposed changes to the marketing order must be approved by the producers in accordance with chapter 15.65 RCW.

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

Explanation of Rule, its Purpose, and Anticipated Effects: This rule provides for the annual assessment of blueberries established to support the purposes and objectives of the Washington Blueberry Commission as provided for in the commission's marketing order. The reduction in assessment was requested by the Washington Blueberry Commission because a national blueberry program was recently adopted. The national program will be funded by an assessment of $12 per ton on domestic cultivated blueberries beginning with the 2001 growing season. The program is implemented under the Commodity Promotion, Research and Consumer Information Act of 1996. The proposed amendment would reduce the Washington Blueberry Commission's assessment on all varieties of blueberries from three-quarters of a cent per affected unit (pound) to four-tenths of a cent per affected unit (pound).

Proposal Changes the Following Existing Rules: The proposed amendment would reduce the assessment on all varieties of blueberries from three-quarters of a cent per affected unit (pound) to four-tenths of a cent per affected unit (pound) in WAC 16-550-040.

No small business economic impact statement has been prepared under chapter 19.85 RCW. Affected blueberry producers must approve the proposed changes under the provisions of chapter 15.65 RCW.

Section 201, chapter 403, Laws of 1995, does not apply to this rule adoption. The Washington State Department of Agriculture is not a listed agency in section 201.

Hearing Location: WSU Puyallup Cooperative Extension Office, Allmendinger Center, 7612 East Pioneer Way, Puyallup, WA 98371, on December 8, 2000, at 10:30 a.m.

Assistance for Persons with Disabilities: Contact Lou Jones by November 29, 2000, TDD (360) 902-1996, or (360) 902-1806.

Submit Written Comments to: Deborah L. Anderson, Program Manager, Administrative Regulations Program, P.O. Box 42560, Olympia, WA 98504, e-mail adminregs@agr.wa.gov, or fax (360) 902-2092, by December 8, 2000.

Date of Intended Adoption: February 15, 2001.

October 17, 2000

William E. Brookreson

Deputy Director


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 91-01-054 (Order 2068), filed 12/13/90, effective 1/13/91)

WAC 16-550-040
Assessments and collections.

(1) Assessments.

(a) The annual assessment on all varieties of blueberries shall be ((three-quarters)) four-tenths of a cent per affected unit (pound).

(b) For the purpose of collecting assessments, the board may:

(i) Require handlers to collect producer assessments from producers whose production they handle, and remit the same to the board; or

(ii) Require the person subject to the assessment to give adequate assurance or security for its payment.

(c) Subsequent to the first sale no affected units shall be transported, carried, shipped, sold, marketed, or otherwise handled or disposed of until every due and payable assessment herein provided for has been paid and the receipt issued. The foregoing shall include all affected units shipped or sold, both inside and outside the state.

(2) Collections. Any moneys collected or received by the board pursuant to the provisions of the order during or with respect to any season or year, may be refunded on a prorata basis at the close of such season or year or at the close of such longer period as the board determines to be reasonably adapted to effectuate the declared policies of this act and the purposes of such marketing agreement or order, to all persons from whom such moneys were collected or received or may be carried over into and used with respect to the next succeeding season, year or period whenever the board finds that the same will tend to effectuate such policies and purposes.

(3) Penalties. Any due and payable assessment herein levied in such specified amount as may be determined by the board pursuant to the provisions of the act and the order, shall constitute a personal debt of every person so assessed or who otherwise owes the same, and the same shall be due and payable to the board when payment is called for by it. In the event any person fails to pay the board the full amount of such assessment or such other sum on or before the date due, the board may, and is hereby authorized, to add to such unpaid assessment or sum an amount not exceeding ten percent of the same to defray the cost of enforcing the collecting of the same. In the event of failure of such person or persons to pay any such due and payable assessment or other such sum, the board may bring a civil action against such person or persons in a state court of competent jurisdiction for the collection thereof, together with the above specified ten percent thereon, and such action shall be tried and judgment rendered as in any other cause of action for debt due and payable.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 15.65.020 and 15.65.140. 91-01-054 (Order 2068), 16-550-040, filed 12/13/90, effective 1/13/91. Statutory Authority: Chapter 15.65 RCW. 79-01-046 (Order 1594), 16-550-040, filed 12/21/78; Order 1116, 16-550-040, filed 5/14/69, effective 6/15/69.]

Washington State Code Reviser's Office