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Rule

Oriental Fruit Fly; Removal of Quarantined Area

Document Details

Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

Published Document

This document has been published in the Federal Register. Use the PDF linked in the document sidebar for the official electronic format.

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AGENCY:

Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA.

ACTION:

Interim rule and request for comments.

SUMMARY:

We are amending the Oriental fruit fly regulations by removing the quarantine on a portion of Los Angeles County, CA, and by removing the restrictions on the interstate movement of regulated articles from that area. This action is necessary to relieve restrictions that are no longer needed to prevent the spread of the Oriental fruit fly into noninfested areas of the United States. We have determined that the Oriental fruit fly has been eradicated from this portion of Los Angeles County, CA, and that the quarantine and restrictions are no longer necessary. This portion of Los Angeles County, CA, was the last remaining area in California quarantined for the Oriental fruit fly. Therefore, as a result of this action, there are no longer any areas in the continental United States quarantined for the Oriental fruit fly.

DATES:

This interim rule was effective May 2, 2000. We invite you to comment on this docket. We will consider all comments that we receive by July 7, 2000.

ADDRESSES:

Please send your comment and three copies to: Docket No. 99-076-2, 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. 99-076-2.

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. Wilmer E. Snell, Operations Officer, Invasive Species and Pest Management Staff, PPQ, APHIS, 4700 River Road Unit 134, Riverdale, MD 20737-1236; (301) 734-8747.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

The Oriental fruit fly, Bactrocera dorsalis (Hendel), is a destructive pest of citrus and other types of fruits, nuts, and vegetables. The short life cycle of the Oriental fruit fly allows rapid development of serious outbreaks that can cause severe economic losses. Heavy infestations can cause complete loss of crops.

The Oriental fruit fly regulations, contained in 7 CFR 301.93 through 301.93-10 (referred to below as the regulations), restrict the interstate movement of regulated articles from quarantined areas to prevent the spread of the Oriental fruit fly to noninfested areas of the United States. The regulations also designate soil and a large number of fruits, nuts, vegetables, and berries as regulated articles.

In an interim rule effective on September 22, 1999, and published in the Federal Register on September 28, 1999 (64 FR 52213-52214, Docket No. 99-076-1), we quarantined a portion of Los Angeles County, CA, and restricted the interstate movement of regulated articles from the quarantined area.

Based on trapping surveys conducted by inspectors of California State and county agencies and by inspectors of the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, we have determined that the Oriental fruit fly has been eradicated from the quarantined portion of Los Angeles County, CA. The last finding of Oriental fruit fly in this area was October 19, 1999.

Since then, no evidence of Oriental 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 Oriental fruit fly no longer exists in Los Angeles County, CA. Therefore, we are removing Los Angeles County, CA, from the list of quarantined areas in § 301.93-3(c). Oriental fruit fly infestations are not known to exist anywhere else in the continental United States.

Immediate Action

The Administrator of the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service has determined that there is good cause for Start Printed Page 26488publishing this interim rule without prior opportunity for public comment. Immediate action is warranted to remove an unnecessary regulatory burden on the public. A portion of Los Angeles County, CA, was quarantined due to the possibility that the Oriental fruit fly could be spread from this area to noninfested areas of the United States. Since this situation no longer exists, immediate action is necessary to remove the quarantine on Los Angeles County, CA, and to relieve the restrictions on the interstate movement of regulated articles from that area.

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.

This interim rule relieves restrictions on the interstate movement of regulated articles from a portion of Los Angeles County, CA.

Within the previously quarantined portion of Los Angeles County, CA, there are approximately 219 entities that will be affected by this rule. All would be considered small entities. These include 1 airport, 5 caterers, 2 certified farmer's markets, 2 community gardens, 154 fruit sellers, 1 grower, 1 landfill, 52 nurseries, and 1 swap meet. These small entities comprise less than 1 percent of the total number of similar small entities operating in the State of California. In addition, these small entities sell regulated articles primarily for local intrastate, not interstate, movement so the effect, if any, of this regulation on these entities appears to be minimal.

The effect on those few entities that do move regulated articles interstate was minimized by the availability of various treatments that, in most cases, allowed these small entities to move regulated articles interstate with very little additional cost.

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 rule contains no new 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, we are amending

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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 § 301.93-3, paragraph (c) is revised to read as follows:

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Quarantined areas.
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(c) The areas described below are designated as quarantined areas: There are no areas in the continental United States quarantined for the Oriental fruit fly.

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Done in Washington, DC, this 2nd day of April 2000.

Bobby R. Acord,

Acting Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

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[FR Doc. 00-11374 Filed 5-5-00; 8:45 am]

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