PREPROPOSAL STATEMENT OF INQUIRY
Subject of Possible Rule Making: On May 7, 2003, the department filed a CR-101 (WSR 03-10-102) to increase fruit and vegetable inspection program regular and overtime hourly inspection rates, adopt federal terminal hourly rates established by USDA/AMS/FPB and establish fees for fresh produce audit verification program for good agricultural practices (GAP) and good handling practices (GHP). In addition to those subjects of possible rule making, the department has decided to repeal chapter 16-400 WAC, Fruit and vegetable inspection fees and chapter 16-458 WAC, Fruit and vegetable inspection district boundaries and replace them with a new clearly written rule, chapter 16-390 WAC, WSDA Fruit and vegetable inspection districts, inspection fees and other charges.
Statutes Authorizing the Agency to Adopt Rules on this Subject: Chapter 15.17 RCW, specifically RCW 15.17.150, and chapter 34.05 RCW.
Reasons Why Rules on this Subject may be Needed and What They Might Accomplish: Since the department had already decided to amend chapter 16-400 WAC, the opportunity to rewrite its content in a clear and readable style and combine it with the content in chapter 16-458 WAC seem to be a logical extension of the original rule-making project. It also allows the department to comply with the clarity criteria in Executive Order 97-02 and the mandate in RCW 34.05.220(5) which reads: "To the extent practicable, any rule proposed or adopted by an agency should be clearly and simply stated, so that it can be understood by those required to comply."
Other Federal and State Agencies that Regulate this Subject and the Process Coordinating the Rule with These Agencies: The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) also regulates the subject of this rule project and the WSDA fruit and vegetable inspection program manager will coordinate with his federal counterpart on any issues that may arise with respect to this rule-making project.
Process for Developing New Rule: To the extent possible, the department will distribute a packet of information to those on its mailing list who use the hourly inspection rate schedule outlining the issues and the department's proposals and asking for written comment. Comments can be received via first class mail, e-mail, or fax, using the addresses provided below. In addition, information will be distributed to applicable agricultural organizations. Persons are encouraged to provide input to the department regarding the proposals outlined above.
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, WSDA Fruit and Vegetable Inspection Program, P.O. Box 42560, Olympia, WA 98504-2560, phone (360) 902-1833, fax (360) 902-2085, e-mail email@example.com; or George Huffman, Rules Coordinator, Department of Agriculture, Administration Regulations Program, P.O. Box 42560, Olympia, WA 98504-2560, phone (360) 902-1802, fax (360) 902-2092, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
December 3, 2003
Robert W. Gore