PREPROPOSAL STATEMENT OF INQUIRY
Subject of Possible Rule Making: The state Department of Agriculture is revising the organic standards and certification procedures in order to comply with the newly enacted national organic program. The department is planning on adopting the national organic program in Washington state. The rules that may be amended or repealed in this process include chapters 16-154, 16-156, 16-158, 16-160, 16-162, and 16-164 WAC.
Statutes Authorizing the Agency to Adopt Rules on this Subject: Chapter 15.86 RCW.
Reasons Why Rules on this Subject may be Needed and What They Might Accomplish: The USDA national organic program became effective on April 21, 2001. All organic producers and handlers must meet the requirements of the national organic program by October 21, 2002. The state organic rules need to be amended to comply with the national organic program.
Other Federal and State Agencies that Regulate this Subject and the Process Coordinating the Rule with These Agencies: The state Department of Agriculture is working with the USDA national organic program to coordinate changes to the state organic rules.
Process for Developing New Rule: The agency is developing the proposal in coordination with the Organic Advisory Board.
Interested parties can participate in the decision to adopt the new rule and formulation of the proposed rule before publication by contacting Washington State Department of Agriculture, Organic Food Program, P.O. Box 42560, Olympia, WA 98504-2560, phone (360) 902-1924, fax (360) 902-2087, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Comments should be made by August 18, 2001.
June 26, 2001