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PDFWAC 480-07-110

Exemptions from and modifications to commission rules; conflicts with other rules.

(1) Exceptions and modifications. The commission, in response to a request or on its own initiative, may grant an exemption from, or modify the application of, any of its rules in individual circumstances if the exemption or modification is consistent with the public interest, the purposes underlying regulation, and applicable statutes. Consistent with due process and the public interest, the commission may modify the application of procedural rules in this chapter on its own initiative during a particular adjudication or other docket without following the process identified in subsection (2) of this section.
(2) Process.
(a) How to request an exemption from, or modification to, a rule. To request a rule exemption or modification, a person must file with the commission a written petition identifying the rule for which the person seeks an exemption and providing a full explanation of the reason for requesting the exemption. Telecommunications companies, gas companies, or electric companies filing petitions for exemption under this section must provide an electronic copy of the request to the public counsel unit of the attorney general's office by email on the same day the request is filed with the commission.
(b) Commission process. The commission will assign the petition a docket number if the request does not arise in an existing docket, and will schedule the petition for consideration at one of the commission's regularly scheduled open meetings or in an adjudicative proceeding if appropriate under chapter 34.05 RCW. The commission will notify the person requesting the exemption and other interested persons of the date of the open meeting or hearing when the commission will consider the petition.
(c) Standard for determination. The commission uses the public interest standard to determine whether to grant an exemption from, or modification to, a commission rule. Factors the commission may consider in making this determination include whether the rule imposes an undue hardship on the requesting person of a degree or a kind different from hardships imposed on other similarly situated persons, and whether the effect of applying the rule to the requesting person would be contrary to the underlying purposes of the rule and the public interest.
(3) Conflicts with other rules. Statutes or other commission rules may establish a process for requesting rule exemption or modification, and if they conflict with this rule, those statutes or other rules govern the request.
(4) Emergency situations. In the event of a state of emergency and for good cause shown, the commission may enter an order on its own motion, or upon the motion of any person or public service company affected by the rule, exempting public service companies, the commission, and all affected persons from complying with the requirements of specific rules in this title.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 80.01.040 and 80.04.160. WSR 17-06-051 (General Order R-588), § 480-07-110, filed 2/28/17, effective 3/31/17; WSR 08-18-012 (Docket A-072162, General Order R-550), § 480-07-110, filed 8/22/08, effective 9/22/08; WSR 06-16-053 (Docket A-050802, General Order R-536), § 480-07-110, filed 7/27/06, effective 8/27/06; WSR 03-24-028 (General Order R-510, Docket No. A-010648), § 480-07-110, filed 11/24/03, effective 1/1/04.]
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