89-187. Director of Agriculture; duties; fees; administrative fees.

The director shall:

(1) Maintain traceability of the primary standards to the National Institute of Standards and Technology;

(2) Enforce the provisions of the Weights and Measures Act;

(3) Adopt and promulgate reasonable rules and regulations for the enforcement of the act including the following:

(a) Requirements for the voluntary registration of sales and repair personnel for commercial weighing and measuring devices including:

(i) Registration fees for such personnel which shall not exceed the actual cost to defray the operation of the voluntary registration program;

(ii)(A) Qualifications for registration, which may include examinations, (B) performance standards to maintain registration, (C) types of equipment necessary for the work to be performed by the personnel, (D) responsibilities and privileges of registration, and (E) revocation and suspension of such registration and probation of the registrant; and

(iii) Minimum standards for the installation and maintenance of commercial weighing and measuring devices;

(b) Additional standards not specifically provided for in the act;

(c) Standards for (i) attachments or parts entering into the construction or installation of commercial weighing and measuring devices which shall tend to secure correct results in the use of such devices and (ii) the setting of laboratory fees which shall not exceed the actual cost for testing, correcting, calibrating, and verifying secondary standards and the establishment of standard laboratory operating procedures;

(d) Requirements for the suitable use of commercial weighing and measuring devices; and

(e) Guidelines for the appropriate method of weighing or measuring whenever the director determines that such guidelines would further the purpose of the act;

(4) Establish standards of weight, measure, or count, reasonable standards of fill, and standards for the presentation of cost-per-unit information for any commodity;

(5) Upon an application filed with the department by the applicant, grant exemptions, including specific exemptions for single-use commercial weighing and measuring devices, from the provisions of the act or the rules and regulations when the applicant on such application provides assurances, acceptable to the director, that such exemption is appropriate to the maintenance of good commercial practices within the state. Notwithstanding any other provision of the act, meters used by a public utility system for the measurement of electricity, natural or manufactured gas, water, or the usage of communication services, the appliances or accessories associated with such meters, and all weighing and measuring devices inspected or tested by the Public Service Commission shall be exempt from the registration, inspection, and testing requirements of the act, except that this exemption shall not apply to meters which determine the weight or measurement of motor fuel;

(6) Conduct investigations to insure compliance with the act;

(7) Delegate to appropriate personnel any of these responsibilities for the proper administration of the director's office;

(8) In his or her discretion, inspect and test weighing and measuring devices kept for sale or sold;

(9) Inspect and test annually and from time to time, as in the director's judgment seems necessary, to ascertain whether commercial weighing and measuring devices are correct;

(10) Register and test as far as practical all commercial weighing and measuring devices used in checking the receipt or disbursement of supplies in every institution for which funds are appropriated by the Legislature;

(11) Test annually and at the request of the Nebraska State Patrol all weighing and measuring devices used for the enforcement of sections 60-3,144, 60-3,147, and 60-6,294. The agency responsible for such weighing and measuring devices shall pay the department for the actual cost of such tests. The department shall bill test fees to such agency upon completion of the test;

(12) Approve for use and may mark commercial weighing and measuring devices which the director finds to be correct and shall reject and mark or tag as rejected such commercial weighing and measuring devices which the director finds to be not correct or not registered and inspected in accordance with the Weights and Measures Act. Commercial weighing and measuring devices that have been rejected may be seized if not made correct within the time specified or if used or disposed of in a manner not specifically authorized. The director shall condemn and may seize commercial weighing and measuring devices which are found not to be correct and not capable of being made correct;

(13) Weigh, measure, or inspect commodities kept for sale, sold, or in the process of delivery to determine whether they contain the amounts represented and whether they are kept for sale or sold in accordance with the act or the rules and regulations. When commodities are found not to contain the amounts represented or are found to be kept for sale, sold, or in the process of delivery in violation of the act, the director may issue stop-sale, hold, or removal orders and may mark or tag such commodities as being in violation of the act. In carrying out the provisions of this section, the director shall employ recognized procedures pursuant to subdivisions (1)(b) through (d) of section 89-186;

(14) Provide for the weights and measures training of inspection personnel and adopt and promulgate by rule and regulation minimum training requirements which shall be met by all inspection personnel;

(15) Adopt and promulgate rules and regulations prescribing the appropriate term or unit of measurement to be used whenever the director determines in the case of a specific commodity that an existing practice of declaring the quantity by weight, measure, numerical count, or combination thereof does not facilitate value comparisons by consumers or offers an opportunity for consumer confusion;

(16) Allow reasonable variations from the stated quantity of contents which shall include those caused by loss or gain of moisture during the course of good distribution practice or by unavoidable deviations in good manufacturing practice only after the commodity has entered intrastate commerce;

(17) Verify advertised prices, price representations, and point-of-sale systems, as deemed necessary, to determine: (a) The accuracy of prices, quantity, and computations; (b) the correct use of the equipment; and (c) if such systems utilize scanning or coding means in lieu of manual entry, the accuracy of prices and quantity printed or recalled from a data base;

(18) On or before July 1 of each year, notify all persons who have registered any commercial weighing or measuring device of the amount of fees which are due and that the fees are due on August 1 and shall be delinquent after such date;

(19) Require all persons who operate a weighing and measuring establishment to obtain a permit to operate such establishment pursuant to section 89-187.01 and to pay to the department an application permit fee pursuant to section 89-187.02;

(20) Require all persons who operate a weighing and measuring establishment to, on or before August 1 of each year:

(a) Register each commercial weighing and measuring device with the department upon forms furnished by the director;

(b) Pay to the department a registration fee of four dollars; and

(c) Pay to the department a device inspection fee.

(i) The device inspection fee due August 1, 2003, shall be the amount in column A of subdivision (20)(c)(iii) of this section.

(ii) The device inspection fee due August 1, 2004, and each August 1 thereafter shall be set by the director on or before July 1 of each year. The director may raise or lower the device inspection fees each year to meet the criteria in this subdivision, but the fee shall not be greater than the amount in column B of subdivision (20)(c)(iii) of this section. The same percentage shall be applied to each device category for all device inspection fee increases or decreases. The director shall use the device inspection fees set for the fees due August 1, 2003, as a base for future fee increases or decreases. The director shall determine the fees based on estimated annual revenue and fiscal year-end cash fund balances as follows:

(A) The estimated annual revenue shall not be greater than one hundred seven percent of program cash fund appropriations allocated for the Weights and Measures Act; and

(B) The estimated fiscal year-end cash fund balance shall not be greater than seventeen percent of program cash fund appropriations allocated for the act.

Scales: A B
Up through 35 pounds capacity 7.96 14.34
Multiunit Scales 51.00 80.37
Over 35 through 1,000 pounds capacity 15.13 25.35
Over 1,000 through 4,000 pounds capacity 31.87 51.03
Over 4,000 through 50,000 pounds capacity 36.65 58.36
Over 50,000 through 150,000 pounds capacity 39.04 62.03
Over 150,000 pounds capacity 86.87 135.40
Length Measuring Devices:
Cordage or fabric 16.56 27.55
Service Station Dispensers — per
measuring element 5.09 9.94
High-capacity service station
dispensers over 20 gallons per
minute — per dispensing element 17.52 29.02
Compressed natural gas — per
dispensing element 91.65 142.74
Vehicle tank meters 14.17 23.88
Loading rack meters 31.87 51.03
Liquid petroleum gas meters 40.00 63.50
Liquid fertilizer and herbicide meters 36.65 58.36
Liquid feed meters 36.65 58.36
Cryogenic 53.39 84.04
Mass Flow Metering Systems:
Mass flow meters (all liquid) 78.26 122.19;

(21) Require persons delinquent under subdivision (20) of this section to pay an administrative fee of twenty-five percent of the annual fees due for each month any such fees are delinquent not to exceed one hundred percent of such fees. Such administrative fees paid shall be in addition to the annual fees due. The purpose of the additional administrative fee is to cover the administrative costs associated with collecting fees. All money collected as an additional administrative fee shall be remitted to the State Treasurer for credit to the Weights and Measures Administrative Fund.

Source:Laws 1972, LB 1413, § 5; Laws 1974, LB 17, § 1; Laws 1979, LB 540, § 1; Laws 1980, LB 633, § 7; Laws 1983, LB 617, § 30; Laws 1984, LB 977, § 1; Laws 1985, LB 460, § 23; Laws 1991, LB 356, § 11; Laws 1992, LB 366, § 68; Laws 1993, LB 370, § 492; Laws 1993, LB 267, § 29; Laws 1999, LB 473, § 4; Laws 2001, LB 541, § 8; Laws 2003, LB 161, § 4; Laws 2005, LB 274, § 284; Laws 2016, LB909, § 13.