Mexican Fruit Fly; Removal of Quarantined Area

Summary:

We are amending the Mexican fruit fly regulations by removing a portion of Webb County, TX, from the list of quarantined areas and by removing restrictions on the interstate movement of regulated articles from this area. This action is necessary to relieve restrictions that are no longer needed to prevent the spread of the Mexican fruit fly into noninfested areas of the United States. We have determined that the Mexican fruit fly has been eradicated from this portion of Webb County, TX, and that the quarantine and restrictions are no longer necessary.

Table of Contents

Dates:

This interim rule was effective June 18, 2007. We will consider all comments that we receive on or before August 24, 2007.

Addresses:

You may submit comments by either of the following methods:

Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http://www.regulations.gov, select “Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service” from the agency drop-down menu, then click “Submit.” In the Docket ID column, select APHIS-2007-0051 to submit or view public comments and to view supporting and related materials available electronically. Information on using Regulations.gov, including instructions for accessing documents, submitting comments, and viewing the docket after the close of the comment period, is available through the site's “User Tips” link.

Postal Mail/Commercial Delivery: Please send four copies of your comment (an original and three copies) to Docket No. APHIS-2007-0051, Regulatory Analysis and Development, PPD, APHIS, Station 3A-03.8, 4700 River Road Unit 118, Riverdale, MD 20737-1238. Please state that your comment refers to Docket No. APHIS-2007-0051.

Reading Room: You may read any comments that we receive on this docket in our reading room. The reading room is located in room 1141 of the USDA South Building, 14th Street and Independence Avenue, SW., Washington, DC. Normal reading room hours are 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, except holidays. To be sure someone is there to help you, please call (202) 690-2817 before coming.

Other Information: Additional information about APHIS and its programs is available on the Internet at http://www.aphis.usda.gov.

For further information contact:

Mr. Wayne Burnett, Domestic Coordinator, Fruit Fly Exclusion and Detection, PPQ, APHIS, 4700 River Road Unit 36, Riverdale, MD 20737-1231; (301) 734-4387.

Supplementary information:

Background

The Mexican fruit fly (Anastrepha ludens) is a destructive pest of citrus and many other types of fruit. The short life cycle of the Mexican fruit fly allows rapid development of serious outbreaks that can cause severe economic losses in commercial citrus-producing areas.

The Mexican fruit fly regulations, contained in 7 CFR 301.64 through 301.64-10 (referred to below as the regulations), were established to prevent the spread of the Mexican fruit fly to noninfested areas of the United States. The regulations impose restrictions on the interstate movement of regulated articles from quarantined areas.

In an interim rule effective and published in the Federal Register on May 18, 2007 (72 FR 27949-27951, Docket No. APHIS-2007-0051), we quarantined a portion of Webb County, TX, and restricted the interstate movement of regulated articles from the quarantined area.

Based on trapping surveys conducted by inspectors of Texas State and county agencies and by inspectors of the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, we have determined that the Mexican fruit fly has been eradicated from the quarantined portion of Webb County. The last finding of Mexican fruit fly in this quarantined area was March 6, 2007.

Since then, no evidence of Mexican fruit fly infestation has been found in this area. Based on our experience, we have determined that sufficient time has passed without finding additional flies or other evidence of infestation to conclude that the Mexican fruit fly no longer exists in Webb County, TX. Therefore, we are removing the entry for this county from the list of quarantined areas in § 301.64-3(c).

Immediate Action

Immediate action is warranted to relieve restrictions that are no longer necessary. A portion of Webb County, TX, was quarantined due to the possibility that the Mexican fruit fly could spread from this area to noninfested areas of the United States. Since we have concluded that the Mexican fruit fly no longer exists in this county, immediate action is warranted to remove the quarantine on Webb County, TX, and to relieve the restrictions on the interstate movement of regulated articles from this area. Under these circumstances, the Administrator has determined that prior notice and opportunity for public comment are contrary to the public interest and that there is good cause under 5 U.S.C. 553 for making this action effective less than 30 days after publication in the Federal Register.

We will consider comments we receive during the comment period for this interim rule (see DATES above). After the comment period closes, we will publish another document in the Federal Register. The document will include a discussion of any comments we receive and any amendments we are making to the rule.

Executive Order 12866 and Regulatory Flexibility Act

This rule has been reviewed under Executive Order 12866. For this action, the Office of Management and Budget has waived its review under Executive Order 12866.

This action amends the Mexican fruit fly regulations by removing a portion of Webb County, TX, from the list of quarantined areas.

The Regulatory Flexibility Act requires that agencies consider the economic impact of their rules on small entities. The Small Business Administration (SBA) has established size standards for determining which economic entities meet the definition of a small firm. The SBA classifies entities that would normally be affected by a quarantine for the Mexican fruit fly, growers of oranges (NAICS category 111310), citrus (except orange) groves (NAICS category 111320), apple orchards (NAICS category 111331), and other non-citrus farming (NAICS category 111339), as small businesses if their annual receipts are $750,000 or less. Any infestation by Mexican fruit fly could result in an increase in producer costs for pesticides and their application and a reduction in production and revenue. However, according to the 2002 Census of Agriculture, there were no commercial farms growing these commodities in Webb County, TX.

County records indicate there are approximately 1 airport, 4 bus terminals, 2 cargo freight forwarders, 2 distributors, 1 food bank, 2 nurseries, and 128 fruit sellers within the area that may be affected by this rule.

We expect that any small entities located within the area that sell regulated articles do so primarily for local intrastate, not interstate, movement, so the effect, if any, of this rule on these entities appears to be minimal. The effect on any small entities that may move regulated articles interstate has been minimized by the availability of various treatments that, in most cases, allow these small entities to move regulated articles interstate with very little additional cost. Thus, just as the previous interim rule establishing the quarantined area in Webb County, TX, had little effect on the small entities in the area, the lifting of the quarantine in the current interim rule will also have little effect.

Under these circumstances, the Administrator of the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service has determined that this action will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.

Executive Order 12372

This program/activity is listed in the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance under No. 10.025 and is subject to Executive Order 12372, which requires intergovernmental consultation with State and local officials. (See 7 CFR part 3015, subpart V.)

Executive Order 12988

This rule has been reviewed under executive Order 12988, Civil Justice Reform. This rule: (1) Preempts all State and local laws and regulations that are inconsistent with this rule; (2) has no retroactive effect; and (3) does not require administrative proceedings before parties may file suit in court challenging this rule.

Paperwork Reduction Act

This interim rule contains no information collection or recordkeeping requirements under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501et seq.).

List of subjects in 7 cfr part 301

Agricultural commodities, Plant diseases and pests, Quarantine, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Transportation.

Accordingly, we are amending 7 CFR part 301 as follows:

Part 301—domestic quarantine notices

1. The authority citation for part 301 continues to read as follows:

Authority:

7 U.S.C. 7701-7772 and 7781-7786; 7 CFR 2.22, 2.80, and 371.3.

Section 301.75-15 issued under Sec. 204, Title II, Public Law 106-113, 113 Stat. 1501A-293; sections 301.75-15 and 301.75-16 issued under Sec. 203, Title II, Public Law 106-224, 114 Stat. 400 (7 U.S.C. 1421 note).

§ 301.64-3 2. In § 301.64-3, paragraph (c) is amended by removing, under the heading “TEXAS”, the entry for Webb County.
Done in Washington, DC, this 18th day of June 2007. Kevin Shea,

Acting Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

References

Loading most recent entriesloading

Feedback