PREPROPOSAL STATEMENT OF INQUIRY
Subject of Possible Rule Making: Chapter 16-104 WAC, Shell eggs -- Standards, grades and weight classes.
Statutes Authorizing the Agency to Adopt Rules on this Subject: Chapter 69.25 RCW, Washington Wholesome Eggs and Egg Products Act.
Reasons Why Rules on this Subject may be Needed and What They Might Accomplish: The department has conducted a review of the above mentioned rule(s) under the provisions of the Governor's Executive Order 97-02 and has determined that the rules are necessary and should be retained. These rules provide for the means under which adulterated or unwholesome eggs or egg products are prevented from being sold in the marketplace. They are necessary to address standards of quality and facility requirements for eggs processed and sold to protect the consuming public. The shell egg industry is in favor of these rules in that a marketing environment is created where all can compete equally and their reputation is protected.
Other Federal and State Agencies that Regulate this Subject and the Process Coordinating the Rule with These Agencies: The United States Department of Agriculture has authority regarding eggs and egg products through the United States Egg Products Inspection Act. Their requirements mainly apply to eggs graded under the voluntary grading program on a fee for service basis. State rules apply to all egg graders. Additionally they administer with the use of state inspection personnel the shell egg surveillance program which provides for quarterly inspection of all shell egg graders. State shell egg standards are the same as United States standards and grades. USDA encourage states to have rules that apply to those egg grading facilities not having grading service. State rules do not duplicate federal rules due to the different criteria under which they apply.
Process for Developing New Rule: A rules review was conducted in accordance with the Governor's Executive Order 97-02. Results of this review will be shared with representatives of the rule(s) stakeholders for input.
Interested parties can participate in the decision to adopt the new rule and formulation of the proposed rule before publication. The department is seeking input on its decision to retain the rule(s). You may comment by writing to Washington State Department of Agriculture, Egg Inspection Section, P.O. Box 42560, Olympia, WA 98504-2560, phone (360) 902-1830, fax (360) 902-2087. Written comments should be made by April 30, 2002.
The egg inspection section advisory board has participated in the review of chapter 16-104 WAC.
February 12, 2002
Kathryn Joyce Smith