WSR 17-05-033
[Filed February 8, 2017, 9:11 a.m., effective March 11, 2017]
Effective Date of Rule: Thirty-one days after filing.
Purpose: This rule-making order amends chapter 16-516 WAC, Washington potatoes, by including public records disclosure procedures as required by RCW 42.56.040.
Citation of Existing Rules Affected by this Order: Amending WAC 16-516-010.
Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 15.66.055 and 42.56.040.
Other Authority: Chapter 34.05 RCW.
Adopted under notice filed as WSR 16-24-098 on December 7, 2016.
Number of Sections Adopted in Order to Comply with Federal Statute: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; Federal Rules or Standards: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; or Recently Enacted State Statutes: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.
Number of Sections Adopted at Request of a Nongovernmental Entity: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.
Number of Sections Adopted on the Agency's Own Initiative: New 7, Amended 1, Repealed 0.
Number of Sections Adopted in Order to Clarify, Streamline, or Reform Agency Procedures: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.
Number of Sections Adopted Using Negotiated Rule Making: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; Pilot Rule Making: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; or Other Alternative Rule Making: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.
Date Adopted: February 8, 2017.
Derek I. Sandison
AMENDATORY SECTION (Amending WSR 06-03-003, filed 1/4/06, effective 2/4/06)
WAC 16-516-010 Definitions.
The following terms shall have the meanings given in RCW 15.66.010, supplemented by the following additional definitions:
(((1))) "Act" means the Washington state agricultural commodity commissions statute, chapter 15.66 RCW;
(((2))) "Affected area" or "area of production" are synonymous and mean all of the state of Washington;
(((3))) "Affected commodity" means potatoes as defined in this section;
(((4))) "Affected handler" means any handler of potatoes;
(((5))) "Affected producer" means any producer who is subject to this marketing order;
(((6))) "Agricultural development" means activities intended to increase the efficiency, productivity, or fair market access of Washington potatoes and potato products;
(((7))) "Commercial quantities" shall mean and include five hundredweight or more per growing season;
(((8))) "Disclosure" means inspection or copying;
"Director" means the director of agriculture of the state of Washington or any qualified person or persons designated by the director of agriculture to act for him or her concerning some matter under this chapter;
(((9))) "District" means the geographical divisions of the area of potato production established pursuant to the provisions of WAC 16-516-020;
(((10))) "Handler" means any person who acts, either as principal, agent, or otherwise, in the processing, packing, shipping, selling, marketing, or distributing of potatoes that are not produced by the handler. "Handler" does not include a common carrier used to transport an agricultural commodity. "To handle" means to act as a handler;
(((11))) "Hundredweight" or "affected unit" are synonymous and mean and include each one hundred pound unit or any combination of packages making a one hundred pound unit of potatoes;
(((12))) "Marketing season" or "fiscal year" are synonymous and mean the twelve-month period beginning July 1st of any year and ending upon the last day of June, both dates inclusive;
(((13))) "Person" includes any individual, firm, corporation, limited liability company, trust, association, partnership, society or any other organization of individuals or any unit or agency of local or state government;
(((14))) "Potato commission" or "commission" are synonymous and mean the commission established pursuant to the provisions of WAC 16-516-020;
(((15))) "Potatoes" means and includes all kinds and varieties of Irish potatoes grown in the state of Washington and marketed, sold or intended for use for human consumption;
(((16))) "Producer" means any person engaged in the production of potatoes grown in Washington for market in commercial quantities, and it includes a landowner, landlord, tenant or other person that participates in the growing or producing of the affected commodity and who has a proprietary interest in the potatoes so produced. "To produce" means to act as a producer;
(((17))) "Public records" includes any writing containing information relating to the conduct of government or the performance of any governmental or proprietary function prepared, owned, used, or retained by the department regardless of physical form or characteristics;
"Research" means scientific research conducted by a university or other accredited researcher on pest and disease surveys; pest and disease control tools or techniques; planting, harvesting, handling and other production or processing tools or techniques; health or nutritional qualities or benefits of potatoes or potato products; and environmental issues including, but not limited to, water use, water quality, water quantity, and erosion control related to production of potatoes or potato products. Results of agricultural research conducted under the provisions of this marketing order shall be public information;
(((18))) "Sale" means a transaction wherein the property in or to potatoes is transferred from the producer to a purchaser for consideration. "Sale" shall also include an agreement to acquire such property for a consideration;
(((19))) "Unfair trade practice" means any practice that is unlawful or prohibited under the laws of the state of Washington including but not limited to Titles 15, 16, and 69 RCW and chapters 9.16, 19.77, 19.80, 19.84, and 19.83 RCW, or any practice, whether concerning interstate or intrastate commerce that is unlawful under the Federal Trade Commission Act of 1914, as amended (38 Stat. 719; 15 U.S.C. Sec. 41 et seq.) or the violation of or failure to accurately label as to grades and standards in accordance with any lawfully established grades or standards or labels.
WAC 16-516-200 Public records officer.
The commission's public records shall be in the charge of the public records officer designated by the commission. The commission or its executive director may appoint a temporary public records officer to serve during the absence of the designated records officer. The public records officer shall be responsible for implementing the commission's rules regarding disclosure of public records, coordination of staff regarding disclosure of public records, and generally ensuring compliance by staff with public records disclosure requirements.
WAC 16-516-205 Requests for public records.
(1) All requests for disclosure of public records must be submitted in writing directly to the commission's public records officer by mail at 108 Interlake Road, Moses Lake, WA 98837, or by e-mail at The written request should include:
(a) The name of the person requesting the record and his or her contact information;
(b) The calendar date on which the request is made; and
(c) Sufficient information to readily identify the records being requested.
(2) Any person wishing to inspect the commission's public records may make an appointment with the public records officer to inspect the records at the commission office during regular business hours. In order to adequately protect the department's public records, the following will apply:
(a) Public records made available for inspection may not be removed from the area the commission makes available for inspection;
(b) Inspection of any public record will be conducted in the presence of the public records officer or designee;
(c) Public records may not be marked or altered in any manner during inspection; and
(d) The commission has the discretion to designate the means and the location for the inspection of records. The viewing of those records that require specialized equipment shall be limited to the availability of that equipment located at the commission office and the availability of authorized staff to operate that equipment.
WAC 16-516-210 Response to public records request.
(1) The public records officer shall respond to public records requests within five business days by:
(a) Providing the record;
(b) Providing a link or address for a record available on the internet under RCW 42.56.520;
(c) Acknowledging receipt of the request and providing a reasonable estimate of the time the commission will require to respond to the request; or
(d) Denying the public record request. Responses refusing in whole or in part the inspection of a public record shall include a statement of the specific exemption authorizing the withholding of the record (or any part) and a brief explanation of how the exemption applies to the record(s) withheld or to any redactions in records produced.
(2) Additional time to respond to the request may be based upon the need to:
(a) Clarify the intent of the request;
(b) Locate and assemble the information requested;
(c) Notify third persons or agencies affected by the request; or
(d) Determine whether any of the information requested is exempt and that a denial should be made as to all or part of the request.
(3) In acknowledging receipt of a public record request that is unclear, the public records officer may ask the requestor to clarify what records the requestor is seeking. The public records officer is not obligated to provide further response if the requestor fails to clarify the request.
WAC 16-516-215 FeesInspection and copying.
(1) No fee shall be charged for the inspection of public records.
(2) The commission shall charge thirty cents per black and white copy plus postage to reimburse itself for the costs of providing copies of public records.
(3) Requests for records in special formatting, including color copies, will be charged at the amount necessary to reimburse the commission for its actual production costs. If the public records officer deems it more efficient to have copying or duplicating done outside the commission, the charges will be based on the actual cost of such outside copying or duplicating service. For all copying or duplicating service charges incurred, an invoice will be sent to the requestor. Reimbursement is payable within fifteen days of receipt of invoice payable to the Washington potato commission. The commission may require that all charges be paid in advance of release of the copies of the records.
(4) The commission or its designee may waive any of the foregoing copying costs.
WAC 16-516-220 Exemptions.
The commission's public records are available for disclosure except as otherwise provided under chapter 42.56 RCW or any other law. Requestors should be aware of the following exemptions to public disclosure specific to commission records. This list is not exhaustive and other exemptions may apply:
(1) Production or sales records required to determine assessment levels and actual assessment payments to the commission under chapter 15.66 RCW (reference RCW 42.56.380(3)).
(2) Financial and commercial information and records supplied by persons:
(a) To the commission for the purpose of conducting a referendum for the establishment of the commission; or
(b) To the commission under chapter 15.66 RCW, with respect to domestic or export marketing activities or individual producer's production information (reference RCW 42.56.380(5)).
(3) Lists of individuals requested for commercial purposes (reference RCW 42.56.070(9)).
(4) Records which are relevant to a controversy to which the commission is a party but which records would not be available to another party under the rules of pretrial discovery for causes pending in the superior courts, including records involving attorney-client communications between the department and the office of the attorney general privileged under RCW 5.60.060(2).
WAC 16-516-225 Review of denials of public records requests.
(1) Any person who objects to the denial of a request to copy or inspect public records may petition the commission for review of such decision by submitting a written request to the commission. The request shall specifically refer to the statement which constituted or accompanied the denial.
(2) The commission's executive director or designee shall immediately consider the matter and either affirm or reverse such denial. In any case, the request shall be returned with a final decision, within ten business days following receipt of the written request for review of the original denial.
(3) Under RCW 42.56.530, if the commission denies a requestor access to public records because it claims the record is exempt in whole or in part from disclosure, the requestor may request the attorney general's office to review the matter.
(4) Any person may obtain court review of a denial of a public records request under RCW 42.56.550.
WAC 16-516-230 Records index.
The commission shall establish a records index, which shall be made available for public review. The records index may be accessed on the commission's web site at