WSR 06-05-112



[ Filed February 15, 2006, 10:34 a.m. ]

     Subject of Possible Rule Making: Chapter 16-157 WAC.

     Statutes Authorizing the Agency to Adopt Rules on this Subject: RCW 15.86.070.

     Reasons Why Rules on this Subject may be Needed and What They Might Accomplish: 1. Processor and handler applications are received in March of each year. The applications are difficult to process in a timely manner due to the number of producer applications received at the same time. The program is proposing to move the application deadline to August 1 to enable more time for processing applications and enable better preparation for the fall/winter field season.

     2. Revenue received from organic certification fees is not currently covering the cost of the program. A fee increase is needed to provide for the full cost of the program.

     Other Federal and State Agencies that Regulate this Subject and the Process Coordinating the Rule with These Agencies: The Washington state department of agriculture (WSDA) organic certification program is accredited by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) national organic program. The subject of the rule will not affect the status of WSDA's accreditation. WSDA will provide the amended rules to USDA when the rule-making process is finalized.

     Process for Developing New Rule: The agency is developing the proposal in coordination with the WSDA organic advisory board. The organic advisory board meetings are open to the public.

     Interested parties can participate in the decision to adopt the new rule and formulation of the proposed rule before publication by contacting Miles McEvoy, Organic Program Manager, Washington State Department of Agriculture, P.O. Box 42560, Olympia, WA 98504-2560,, (360) 902-1924, fax (360) 902-2087.

February 15, 2006

Jerry Buendel

Assistant Director