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Pink Bollworm Regulated Areas

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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AGENCY:

Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA.

ACTION:

Interim rule and request for comments.

SUMMARY:

We are amending the pink bollworm regulations by removing the previously regulated area in Poinsett County, AR, from the list of suppressive areas for pink bollworm. We are also removing Arkansas from the list of States quarantined because of the pink bollworm. We are taking this action because trapping surveys show that the pink bollworm no longer exists in this area. This action is necessary to relieve unnecessary restrictions on the interstate movement of regulated articles from the previously regulated area.

DATES:

This interim rule is effective March 2, 2000. We invite you to comment on this docket. We will consider all comments that we receive by May 1, 2000.

ADDRESSES:

Please send your comment and three copies to:

Docket No. 00-009-1, Regulatory Analysis and Development, PPD APHIS, Suite 3C03, 4700 River Road, Unit 118, Riverdale, MD 20737-1238

Please state that your comment refers to Docket No. 00-009-1.

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.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Mr. Bill Grefenstette, Assistant Director, Plant Health Programs, PPQ, APHIS, 4700 River Road Unit 138, Riverdale, MD 20737-1236; (301) 734-8676.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

The pink bollworm, Pectinophora gossypiella (Saunders), is one of the world's most destructive pests of cotton. This insect spread to the United States from Mexico in 1917 and now exists throughout most of the cotton-producing States west of the Mississippi River.

The pink bollworm regulations, contained in 7 CFR 301.52 through 301.52-10 (referred to below as the regulations), quarantine certain States and restrict the interstate movement of regulated articles from regulated areas in quarantined States for the purpose of preventing the interstate spread of the pink bollworm.

Regulated areas for the pink bollworm are designated as either suppressive areas or generally infested areas. Restrictions are imposed on the interstate movement of regulated articles from both types of areas in order to prevent the movement of pink bollworm into noninfested areas.

Prior to the effective date of this document, a portion of Poinsett County, AR, was designated as a suppressive area. Based on 2 years of negative trapping surveys conducted by inspectors of Arkansas and the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, we have determined that the pink bollworm no longer exists in this area. We are, therefore, removing this area from the list of suppressive areas in § 301.52-2a.

As of the effective date of this document, there will be no areas in Arkansas regulated because of the pink bollworm. We are, therefore, also removing Arkansas from the list of States in § 301.52-2a quarantined because of the pink bollworm.

Immediate Action

The Administrator of the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service has determined that there is good cause for publishing this interim rule without prior opportunity for public comment. Immediate action is warranted to relieve unnecessary restrictions on the interstate movement of regulated articles from areas where the pink bollworm no longer exists.

Because prior notice and other public procedures with respect to this action are impracticable and contrary to the public interest under these conditions, we find good cause under 5 U.S.C. 553 to make this action effective less than 30 days after publication. We will consider comments that are received within 60 days of publication of this rule in the Federal Register. 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 as a result of the comments.

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 process required by Executive Order 12866.

We are amending the pink bollworm regulations by removing the previously regulated area in Poinsett County, AR, from the list of suppressive areas for pink bollworm. We are also removing Arkansas from the list of States quarantined because of the pink bollworm. We are taking this action because trapping surveys show that the pink bollworm no longer exists in this area. This action is necessary to relieve unnecessary restrictions on the interstate movement of regulated articles from the previously regulated area.

This emergency situation makes compliance with section 603 and timely compliance with section 604 of the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.) impracticable. If we determine that this rule would have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities, then we will discuss the issues raised by section 604 Start Printed Page 11204of the Regulatory Flexibility Act in our final regulatory flexibility analysis.

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 interim 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. 3501 et seq.).

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List of Subjects in 7 CFR Part 301

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Accordingly,

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PART 301—DOMESTIC QUARANTINE NOTICES

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

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Authority: 7 U.S.C. 147a, 150bb, 150dd, 150ee, 150ff, 161, 162, and 164-167; 7 CFR 2.22, 2.80, and 371.2(c).

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2. In § 301.52, paragraph (a) is amended by removing the word “Arkansas,”.

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3. Section 301.52-2a is amended by removing the entire entry for Arkansas.

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Done in Washington, DC, this 24th day of February 2000.

Bobby R. Acord,

Acting Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

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[FR Doc. 00-5054 Filed 3-1-00; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 3410-34-U