WSR 01-04-093

PREPROPOSAL STATEMENT OF INQUIRY

DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE


[ Filed February 7, 2001, 11:37 a.m. ]

Subject of Possible Rule Making: Require each apple container to be marked with the harvest year under the following guidelines: The harvest year marking would begin on October 1 of each calendar year, and be applied only to those containers of apples harvested in the previous year. The harvest year marking would be applied prior to or at time of shipment; that the marking will be at least on half inch in height and be displayed on the principal display panel of each container. Establish annual release dates for: Golden Delicious, September 20 of each calendar year; Granny Smith, October 10 of each calendar year.

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: Amendments to existing rules (chapter 16-403 WAC, Standards for apples marketed within the state of Washington, will assist retailers and consumers in identifying previous years apple crop with new crop apples. Establishment of annual release dates for Golden Delicious and Granny Smith apple varieties will eliminate the floating release dates, which was previously established by the Apple Maturity Committee.

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

Process for Developing New Rule: This is at the request of the Washington State Horticulture Associations Grade and Pack Committee. The department will be working with the association, other stakeholders and interested parties in the development of these rules.

Interested parties can participate in the decision to adopt the new rule and formulation of the proposed rule before publication. Any comments relating to the development of these rules must be received no later than March 9, 2001. Please direct all comments to: 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 22, 2001

Robert W. Gore

Assistant Director

Washington State Code Reviser's Office