(1) Any person may petition an agency for a declaratory order as to the applicability to specified circumstances of a statute, rule, regulation, or order within the primary jurisdiction of the agency. An agency shall issue a declaratory order in response to a petition for that order unless the agency determines that issuance of the order under the circumstances would be contrary to a rule or regulation adopted in accordance with subsection (2) of this section. An agency may not issue a declaratory order that would substantially prejudice the rights of a person who would be a necessary party and who does not consent in writing to the determination of the matter by a declaratory order proceeding.
(2) Each agency shall issue rules or regulations that provide for: (a) The form, contents, and filing of petitions for declaratory orders; (b) the procedural rights of persons in relation to the petitions; (c) the disposition of the petitions; and (d) notice to necessary parties for matters set for hearing or specified proceedings. The rules or regulations shall describe the classes of circumstances in which the agency will not issue a declaratory order and be consistent with the public interest and with the general policy of the Administrative Procedure Act to facilitate and encourage agency issuance of reliable advice.
(3) Persons who qualify for intervention and file timely petitions for intervention according to agency rules and regulations may intervene in proceedings for declaratory orders.
(4) Within thirty days after receipt of a petition for a declaratory order, an agency shall, in writing:
(a) Issue an order or agree to issue a declaratory order by a specified time declaring the applicability of the statute, rule, regulation, or order in question to the specified circumstances;
(b) Set the matter for specified proceedings; or
(c) Decline to issue a declaratory order, stating the reasons for its action.
(5) A copy of all orders issued in response to a petition for a declaratory order shall be mailed promptly to the petitioner and any other parties.
(6) A declaratory order shall have the same status and binding effect as any other order issued in a contested case. A declaratory order shall contain the names of all parties to the proceeding on which it is based, the particular facts on which it is based, and the reasons for its conclusion.
(7) If an agency has not issued a declaratory order within sixty days after receipt of a petition therefor, the petition shall be deemed to have been denied.