Sanitary Control of Shellfish

Chapter 246-282 WAC, Sanitary Control of Shellfish, establishes standards for the growing, harvesting, processing, and marketing of molluscan shellfish for human consumption. The State Board of Health (Board) serves as the rulemaking body and the Washington Department of Health (Department) serves as the regulatory agency. The Department also serves as the state shellfish authority administering the model ordinance of the National Shellfish Sanitation Program (NSSP).

On February 23, 2022, the Board filed a CR-101, Preproposal Statement of Inquiry, to explore revisions to the shellfish sanitation rules. The rulemaking is considering miscellaneous editorial and technical revisions along with updates to WAC 246-282-006, Vibrio parahaemolyticus (Vp) Control Plan.

Informal Public Comment Period Deadline May 24, 2024

The Board coordinated with the Department of Health’s Office of Environmental Health and Safety to convene six Rule Advisory Committee meetings and six Tribal Partner meetings. These meetings gathered valuable feedback on the rule and potential changes. The Board is now gathering additional feedback to answer any questions before a final proposal. 

The Board is committed to promoting equity in all aspects of the rulemaking process, ensuring fair and inclusive policies that address the diverse needs and perspectives of our communities. This feedback will help the Board make further edits and clarify any questions before a final proposal. We are requesting feedback on the draft proposed language by May 24, 2024. 

The May 10 deadline is important, as it provides Board staff enough time to review and incorporate feedback before updating the Board on the rule progress in June. See below for a tentative project timeline. Dates are subject to change based on feedback. Once the final proposal is submitted, we will hold a formal comment period that includes both written and verbal comments in front of the Board. We will keep you updated as we move to the next steps. 

Informal Public Comment Links

  1. Clean Chapter 246-282 WAC Draft Proposed Changes
  2. Redline Chapter 246-282 WAC Draft Proposed Changes
  3. Summary of Changes

You may provide feedback on the draft proposed rule through the following ways: 

  • Written comments and feedback on the summary of changes document are accepted through May 24, 2024, using the following options: 
  1. Send to the State Board of Health Shellfish Rule email address: 
  1. Send via the U.S. Mail to: 

Washington State Board of Health 
PO Box 47990 
Olympia, WA 98504-7990 

  • Redline Edits are accepted through May 24, 2024. To provide redline edits, open the clean Document attached and follow these steps: 
  1. Go to the “Review” tab. 
  1. Select “Track Changes” from the drop-down arrow in the “Tracking” section. 
An image of the outlook inbox highlighting where to select Track Changes












  1. Make your edits and watch them appear as red markup. 
  1. When finished, save the document as [Last Name, First Name] WAC246-282_Draft 
  1. Send the draft to by the May 24 deadline. 

  • Additional Comment Methods – The Washington State Board of Health is committed to providing access to all individuals that want to participate in our work. Alternative commenting options include verbal comment, support for interpretation and translation, and other accessible options. If you would like to take advantage of these methods of providing comment, please contact us at  (360) 236-4110 or email 
  • Métodos adicionales para comentar:el Consejo de Salud del Estado de Washington se compromete a facilitar el acceso a todas las personas que deseen participar en el proceso normativo. Existen opciones alternativas para hacer comentarios, incluidas las opciones de comentarios verbales, servicios de interpretación y traducción, y otras opciones de accesibilidad. Si desea aprovechar estos métodos para hacer comentarios, comuníquese con nosotros al (360) 2364110 o envíe un correo electrónico a

Please Note - This rulemaking is not related to the Department of Health’s shellfish fee Rulemaking. For more information on the fee Rulemaking, please visit 


Shellfish Rulemaking Timeline





As background, Vp is naturally occurring marine bacteria that can cause serious illness when consumed in raw or undercooked molluscan shellfish. Vp levels can dramatically worsen during warm-weather events as water and air temperatures rise. The Vp Control Plan authorizes enforcement of the rule’s strictest time-to-cooling requirements for harvested oysters starting July 1 of the Vp control season. However, heat wave conditions starting in late June 2021 resulted in a sharp increase in shellfish related Vp illnesses and illustrated the need for changes to the rule.

For more information on this rulemaking visit the Department’s rulemaking web page and to stay informed on the rulemaking and other Vp related information, sign up for Vibrio email notices from the Department.

Statutory Authority: RCW 43.20.050RCW 69.30.030
State Board of Health Contact: 
Shay Bauman, 564-669-8929
Department of Health Contact: 
Dani Toepelt, 360-236-3347

Related Links: Meeting Materials