WSR 98-03-008

PREPROPOSAL STATEMENT OF INQUIRY

DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

[Filed January 8, 1998, 2:18 p.m.]

Subject of Possible Rule Making: (1) Increase the hourly inspection rates (both regular and overtime), (2) eliminate the requirement for charging an additional inspection assessment of ten percent with a minimum of twelve dollars per inspection, for use of the "UDSA positive lot identification inspection," (3) increasing the penalty on delinquent account balances, and (4) change all reference of "horticulture" or "horticultural" to "fruit and vegetable" to reflect language in chapter 15.17 RCW.

Statutes Authorizing the Agency to Adopt Rules on this Subject: Chapter 15.17 RCW, Standards of grades and packs.

Reasons Why Rules on this Subject may be Needed and What They Might Accomplish: (1) The purpose of this rule is to increase the hourly inspection rates (regular and overtime), within the fiscal growth factors allowed under Initiative 601. An increase in the hourly inspection rates will reduce the proportionate disparity of inspection costs between the high volume warehouses which are assessed fees on a per unit basis, and the lower volume warehouses which are assessed the hourly rate. Currently, hourly fees are $21.50, while the costs of providing inspection services are approximately $28.00 per hour.

(2) WAC 16-400-210(10), USDA positive lot identification, requires an additional charge of ten percent in addition to the regular inspection fee for utilizing the "USDA positive lot identification inspection procedures." The change would eliminate the requirement for charging an additional ten percent with a minimum of twelve dollars per positive lot identification inspection, when an inspector is on site performing marketing order or other type of inspections.

(3) Increasing the penalty on delinquent accounts from twelve to eighteen percent, per Office of Financial Management requirements.

(4) Change all reference of "horticulture" or "horticultural" to "fruit and vegetable" to reflect the referencing language in chapter 15.17 RCW, Standards of grades and packs.

Other Federal and State Agencies that Regulate this Subject and the Process Coordinating the Rule with These Agencies: None.

Process for Developing New Rule: Negotiated rule making.

Interested parties can participate in the decision to adopt the new rule and formulation of the proposed rule before publication by contacting Jim Quigley, Program Manager, Washington State Department of Agriculture, Fruit and Vegetable Inspection Program, P.O. Box 42560, Olympia, WA 98504-2560, phone (360) 902-1833, FAX (360) 902-2085.

January 7, 1998

Robert W. Gore

Assistant Director

Legislature Code Reviser

Register

Washington State Code Reviser's Office