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Rule

Asian Longhorned Beetle; Quarantined Areas and Regulated Articles

Action

Interim Rule And Request For Comments.

Summary

We are amending the Asian longhorned beetle regulations by adding portions of New York City, NY, and Hudson County, NJ, to the list of quarantined areas and restricting the interstate movement of regulated articles from these areas. We are also updating the list of regulated articles in order to reflect new information concerning host plants. These actions are necessary to prevent the artificial spread of the Asian longhorned beetle to noninfested areas of the United States.

 

Table of Contents Back to Top

DATES: Back to Top

This interim rule was effective May 13, 2003. We will consider all comments that we receive on or before July 18, 2003.

ADDRESSES: Back to Top

You may submit comments by postal mail/commercial delivery or by e-mail. If you use postal mail/commercial delivery, please send four copies of your comment (an original and three copies) to: Docket No. 03-018-1, Regulatory Analysis and Development, PPD, APHIS, Station 3C71, 4700 River Road Unit 118, Riverdale, MD 20737-1238. Please state that your comment refers to Docket No. 03-018-1. If you use e-mail, address your comment to regulations@aphis.usda.gov. Your comment must be contained in the body of your message; do not send attached files. Please include your name and address in your message and “Docket No. 03-018-1” on the subject line.

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.

APHIS documents published in the Federal Register, and related information, including the names of organizations and individuals who have commented on APHIS dockets, are available on the Internet at http://www.aphis.usda.gov/ppd/rad/webrepor.html.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Back to Top

Mr. Michael B. Stefan, Director of Emergency Programs, Pest Detection and Management Programs, PPQ, APHIS, 4700 River Road Unit 134, Riverdale, MD 20737-1236; (301) 734-4387.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Back to Top

Background Back to Top

The Asian longhorned beetle (ALB) (Anoplophora glabripennis), an insect native to China, Japan, Korea, and the Isle of Hainan, is a destructive pest of hardwood trees. It attacks many healthy hardwood trees, including maple, horse chestnut, birch, poplar, willow, and elm. In addition, nursery stock, logs, green lumber, firewood, stumps, roots, branches, and wood debris of half an inch or more in diameter are subject to infestation. The beetle bores into the heartwood of a host tree, eventually killing the tree. Immature beetles bore into tree trunks and branches, causing heavy sap flow from wounds and sawdust accumulation at tree bases. They feed on, and over-winter in, the interiors of trees. Adult beetles emerge in the spring and summer months from round holes approximately three-eighths of an inch in diameter (about the size of a dime) that they bore through branches and trunks of trees. After emerging, adult beetles feed for 2 to 3 days and then mate. Adult females then lay eggs in oviposition sites that they make on the branches of trees. A new generation of ALB is produced each year. If this pest moves into the hardwood forests of the United States, the nursery, maple syrup, and forest product industries could experience severe economic losses. In addition, urban and forest ALB infestations will result in environmental damage, aesthetic deterioration, and a reduction in public enjoyment of recreational spaces.

Quarantined Areas Back to Top

The ALB regulations in 7 CFR 301.51-1 through 301.51-9 (referred to below as the regulations) restrict the interstate movement of regulated articles from quarantined areas to prevent the artificial spread of ALB to noninfested areas of the United States. Portions of the State of Illinois and portions of New York City and Nassau and Suffolk Counties in the State of New York are already designated as quarantined areas.

Recent surveys conducted by inspectors of State, county, and city agencies and by inspectors of the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) have revealed infestations of ALB in Hudson County, NJ. Additionally, surveys conducted in New York City, NY, have revealed that infestations of ALB have occurred outside the existing quarantined area. Officials of the U.S. Department of Agriculture and officials of State, county, and city agencies in New Jersey and New York are conducting intensive survey and eradication programs in the infested areas. Both New Jersey and New York have quarantined the infested areas and are restricting the intrastate movement of regulated articles from the quarantined areas to prevent the further spread of ALB within those States. However, Federal regulations are necessary to restrict the interstate movement of regulated articles from the quarantined areas to prevent the spread of ALB to other States and other countries.

The regulations in § 301.51-3(a) provide that the Administrator of APHIS will list as a quarantined area each State, or each portion of a State, where ALB has been found by an inspector, where the Administrator has reason to believe that ALB is present, or where the Administrator considers regulation necessary because of its inseparability for quarantine enforcement purposes from localities where ALB has been found.

Less than an entire State will be quarantined only if (1) the Administrator determines that the State has adopted and is enforcing restrictions on the intrastate movement of regulated articles that are equivalent to those imposed by the regulations on the interstate movement of regulated articles; and (2) the designation of less than an entire State as a quarantined area will be adequate to prevent the artificial spread of ALB.

In accordance with these criteria and the recent ALB findings described above, we are amending the list of quarantined areas in § 301.51-3(c) to include a portion of Hudson County, NJ, and additional areas in New York City, NY. These quarantined areas are described in the rule portion of this document.

Regulated Articles Back to Top

Section 301.51-2 of the regulations designates certain items as regulated articles. Regulated articles may not be moved interstate from quarantined areas except in accordance with the conditions specified in §§ 301.51-4 through 301.51-9 of the regulations. Regulated articles listed in § 301.51-2(a) have included green lumber and other material living, dead, cut, or fallen, inclusive of nursery stock, logs, stumps, roots, branches, and debris of half an inch or more in diameter of the following genera: Acer (maple), Aesculus (horse chestnut), Betula (birch), Hibiscus syriacus L. (Rose of Sharon), Malus (apple), Melia (chinaberry), Morus (mulberry), Populus (poplar), Prunus (cherry), Pyrus (pear), Robinia (locust), Salix (willow), Ulmus (elm), and Citrus. This list of genera was based on scientific literature provided by government officials, scientists, and government and individual researchers from China as well as limited survey information collected in the United States at the time of discovery of the pest.

Based on additional survey experience and research, we are amending the list of regulated articles by removing Hibiscus syriacus L. (Rose of Sharon), Malus (apple), Melia (chinaberry), Morus (mulberry), Prunus (cherry), Pyrus (pear), Robinia (locust), and Citrus, and by adding Albizia (mimosa), Celtis (hackberry), Fraxinus (ash), Platanus (sycamore), and Sorbus (mountain ash). With respect to each of the eight genera that we are removing from the list of regulated articles, surveys conducted over the course of several years in New York and Illinois have shown that either (1) the genus is not present in the quarantined areas or (2) there is no evidence that ALB can complete its development in the genus. Conversely, with respect to the five genera we are adding, inspectors have found ALB completing its development in those genera within the quarantined areas.

Emergency Action Back to Top

This rulemaking is necessary on an emergency basis to prevent the artificial spread of ALB to noninfested areas of the United States. 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 rule 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 Back to Top

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 interim rule amends the ALB regulations by expanding the quarantined area in New York City, NY, and adding portions of Hudson County, NJ, to the list of quarantined areas. As a result of this action, the interstate movement of regulated articles from those areas is restricted.

The following analysis addresses the economic effects of the interim rule on small entities. The businesses potentially affected by this interim rule are nurseries, arborists, tree removal services, firewood dealers, garden centers, landscapers, recyclers of waste material, and lumber and building material outlets. The quarantined areas expanded or established by this interim rule encompass approximately 10 square miles (6 square miles in New York and 4 square miles in New Jersey). Within those areas, there is one potentially affected entity (a nursery). While the size of the entity is unknown, it is reasonable to assume that it would be classified as a small entity, based on the Small Business Administration's size standards. [1]

Businesses could be affected by the regulations in two ways. First, if a business wishes to move regulated articles interstate from a quarantined area, that business must either: (1) Enter into a compliance agreement with APHIS for the inspection and certification of regulated articles to be moved interstate from the quarantined area; or (2) present its regulated articles for inspection by an inspector and obtain a certificate or a limited permit, issued by the inspector, for the interstate movement of regulated articles. The inspections may be inconvenient, but they should not be costly in most cases, even for businesses operating under a compliance agreement who would perform the inspections themselves. For those businesses that elect not to enter into a compliance agreement, APHIS would provide the services of the inspector without cost. There is also no cost for the compliance agreement, certificate, or limited permit for the interstate movement of regulated articles.

Second, there is a possibility that, upon inspection, a regulated article could be determined by the inspector to be potentially infested with ALB, and, as a result, the inspector would not be able to issue a certificate. In this case, the entity's ability to move regulated articles interstate would be restricted. However, the affected entity could conceivably obtain a limited permit under the conditions of § 301.51-5(b). Whether or not the affected entity would be denied certificates as a result of inspections of regulated articles is unknown. However, because it is located in a densely populated urban area, the nursery is more likely to be receiving regulated articles from outside the quarantined area than it is to be shipping regulated articles interstate to non-quarantined areas. It is unlikely, therefore, that the nursery would be moving regulated articles that would require inspection in the first place.

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 Back to Top

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.

National Environmental Policy Act Back to Top

An environmental assessment and finding of no significant impact have been prepared for this interim rule. The assessment provides a basis for the conclusion that the integrated eradication program will not have a significant impact on the quality of the human environment. Based on the finding of no significant impact, the Administrator of the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service has determined that an environmental impact statement need not be prepared.

The environmental assessment and finding of no significant impact were prepared in accordance with: (1) The National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA), as amended (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.), (2) regulations of the Council on Environmental Quality for implementing the procedural provisions of NEPA (40 CFR parts 1500-1508), (3) USDA regulations implementing NEPA (7 CFR part 1b), and (4) APHIS' NEPA Implementing Procedures (7 CFR part 372).

Copies of the environmental assessment and finding of no significant impact are available for public inspection in our reading room (information on the location and hours of the reading room is provided under the heading ADDRESSES at the beginning of this interim rule). In addition, copies may be obtained by calling or writing to the individual listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT or on the Internet at http://www.aphis.usda.gov/ ppd/es/alb.html.

Paperwork Reduction Act Back to Top

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

List of Subjects in 7 CFR Part 301 Back to Top

begin regulatory text

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

PART 301—DOMESTIC QUARANTINE NOTICES Back to Top

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

Authority:

7 U.S.C. 7711, 7712, 7714, 7731, 7735, 7751, 7752, 7753, 7754, and 7760; 7 CFR 2.22, 2.80, and 371.3.

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

2.In § 301.51-2, paragraph (a) is revised to read as follows:

§ 301.51-2 Regulated articles.

* * * * *

(a) Firewood (all hardwood species), and green lumber and other material living, dead, cut, or fallen, inclusive of nursery stock, logs, stumps, roots, branches, and debris of half an inch or more in diameter of the following genera: Acer (maple), Aesculus (horse chestnut), Albizia (mimosa), Betula (birch), Celtis (hackberry), Fraxinus (ash), Platanus (sycamore), Populus (poplar), Salix (willow), Sorbus (mountain ash), and Ulmus (elm).

* * * * *

3.In § 301.51-3, paragraph (c) is amended as follows:

a. By adding, in alphabetical order, an entry for New Jersey to read as set forth below.

b. Under the heading New York, by revising the entry for New York City to read as set forth below.

§ 301.51-3 Quarantined areas.

* * * * *

(c) * * *

New Jersey Back to Top

Hudson County. That area in the city of Jersey City that is bounded as follows: Beginning at the intersection of Paterson Plank Road and South Wing Viaduct; then south on Paterson Plank Road to Congress Street; then west on Congress Street to Webster Avenue; then south on Webster Avenue to Bowers Street; then west on Bowers Street to Summit Avenue; then south on Summit Avenue to Fairmount Avenue; then east on Fairmount Avenue to Grand Street; then east on Grand Street to the shoreline of the Hudson River; then north along the shoreline of the Hudson River to the Hoboken/Jersey City border.

That area in the city of Hoboken that is bounded as follows: Beginning at the shoreline of the Hudson River east of the intersection of Hudson Street and 11th Street; then west on 11th Street to the railroad tracks; then south along the railroad tracks to the Hoboken/Jersey City border; then east along the Hoboken/Jersey City border to the shoreline of the Hudson River; then north along the shoreline of the Hudson river to the point of beginning.

New York Back to Top

New York City. That area in the boroughs of Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens in the City of New York that is bounded by a line beginning at the point where the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel intersects the Manhattan shoreline of the East River; then west and north along the shoreline of the Hudson River to Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard; then east on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and across the Triborough Bridge to its intersection with the west shoreline of Randall's and Wards Island; then east and south along the shoreline of Randall's and Wards Island to its intersection with the Triborough Bridge; then east along the Triborough Bridge to its intersection with the Queens shoreline; then north and east along the Queens shoreline to its intersection with the City of New York/Nassau County line; then southeast along the City of New York/Nassau County line to its intersection with the Grand Central Parkway; then west on the Grand Central Parkway to the Jackie Robinson Parkway; then west on the Jackie Robinson Parkway to Park Lane; then south on Park Lane to Park Lane South; then south and west on Park Lane South to 112th Street; then south on 112th Street to Atlantic Avenue; then west on Atlantic Avenue to 106th Street; then south on 106th Street to Liberty Avenue; then west on Liberty Avenue to Euclid Avenue; then south on Euclid Avenue to Linden Boulevard; then west on Linden Boulevard to Canton Avenue; then west on Canton Avenue to the Prospect Expressway; then north and west on the Prospect Expressway to the Gowanus Expressway; then north and west on the Gowanus Expressway to Hamilton Avenue and the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel; then north on Hamilton Avenue and the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel across the East River to the point of beginning.

* * * * *

end regulatory text

Done in Washington, DC, this 13th day of May 2003.

Peter Fernandez,

Acting Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

[FR Doc. 03-12390 Filed 5-16-03; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 3410-34-P

Footnotes Back to Top

1. The overwhelming majority of entities are considered small by SBA standards.

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