PREPROPOSAL STATEMENT OF INQUIRY
UTILITIES AND TRANSPORTATION
[Filed November 4, 1997, 4:01 p.m.]
Subject of Possible Rule Making: Rules relating to motor carriers of household goods and transportation brokers. All provisions currently codified in chapter 480-12 WAC might be affected. New rules related to entry of household goods carriers and protection of consumers will be considered. Rules will be reviewed for content and readability pursuant to Executive Order 97-02. Docket No. TV-971477.
Statutes Authorizing the Agency to Adopt Rules on this Subject: RCW 80.01.040, 81.80.130, 81.80.140.
Reasons Why Rules on this Subject may be Needed and What They Might Accomplish: (1) Executive Order 97-02 requires agencies to review significant rules against specified standards. (2) In Docket No. TV-941290, the commission limited existing chapter 480-12 WAC to a small segment of the motor carrier industry -- household goods movers and transportation brokers -- and created new chapter 480-14 WAC for all other motor carriers. That left chapter 480-12 WAC with some rules that appear less relevant in today's environment, or which may be unnecessarily complex or ill-suited for regulating the carriers that remain subject to the chapter. (3) Federal preemption of most aspects of the regulation of transportation brokers has made other rules irrelevant. (4) The definition of "household goods" in WAC 480-12-400 differs from the federal definition, resulting in confusion. (5) The applicability of the rules to "pack and load" services needs to be clarified. (6) Deficient consumer protection rules for household goods customers hampers the commission's ability to assist consumers. (7) Current application of the "public convenience and necessity" standard may no longer be appropriate under emerging market and legal conditions. Rule changes could streamline and clarify household goods rules, provide more effective consumer protection, ease carrier entry and reduce costs associated with entering this market.
Other Federal and State Agencies that Regulate this Subject and the Process Coordinating the Rule with These Agencies: None.
Process for Developing New Rule: Agency study. The commission will call for initial written comments, and will provide the opportunity for additional comments. The commission will schedule one or more workshops with representatives of affected constituencies in a manner designed to develop consensus regarding any rule proposal.
Interested parties can participate in the decision to adopt the new rule and formulation of the proposed rule before publication. Interested persons may contact the Secretary, Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission, P.O. Box 47250, Olympia, WA 98504-7250, (360) 664-1174, FAX (360) 586-1150. Such persons may submit comments, and may ask to be included on the commission's list of interested persons for the proceeding. Interested persons will be notified of public meetings, workshops, and other opportunities to participate in the rule making.
Written Comments: Written comments in response to the CR-101 from persons interested in the subject matter of this proposed rule making may be filed with the commission secretary, referencing Docket No. TV-971477, not later than December 5, 1997. All commenters are asked, but not required, to file an original and ten copies of their written comments. The commission also requests, but does not require, that comments be provided on a 3 1/2 inch IBM formatted high-density disk, in WordPerfect version 5.1, 6.0, or 6.1, labeled with the docket number of this proceeding and the commenter's name and type of software used. The commission will offer additional opportunities to provide written comments on any specific proposals or alternative proposals. Interested persons may file additional written comments in response to any such invitation.
Executive Order 97-02 requires agencies to review significant rules against specified standards: The rules' need; effectiveness and efficiency; clarity; intent and statutory authority; coordination; cost; and fairness. The commission calls for comments on the rules in this chapter under the standards identified in the Executive Order.
Workshops: The commission will schedule workshops at which representatives of affected interests discuss and propose alternative means of addressing the underlying issues, which are expected to involve potential changes to commission rules. The commission will select participants in the workshops from those who comment and from representatives of interests known to the commission to be affected by the commissions's actions.
Oral Comments: The commission will schedule an opportunity for oral comments as an element of adopting a potential rule change. The commission will provide written notice of the nature, time, and place of any opportunity for general public comment to all persons who provide written comments and to any other persons specifically asking to receive such notices in this proceeding.
October 28, 1997
for Steve McLellan