Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA.
Interim rule and request for comments.
We are amending the melon 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 melon fruit fly into noninfested areas of the United States. We have determined that the melon 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 only area in the continental United States quarantined for the melon fruit fly. Therefore, as a result of this action, there are no longer any areas in the continental United States quarantined for the melon fruit fly.
This interim rule was effective June 23, 2000. We invite you to comment on this docket. We will consider all comments that we receive by August 28, 2000.
Please send your comment and three copies to: Docket No. 99-097-2, 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. 99-097-2.
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.Start Further Info
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) 734-8247.End Further Info End Preamble Start Supplemental Information
The melon fruit fly, Bactrocera cucurbitae (Coquillett), is a very destructive pest of fruits and vegetables, including melons, mangoes, peppers, squash, cucumbers, beans, oranges, and peaches. This pest can cause serious economic losses by lowering the yield and quality of these fruits and vegetables and by damaging the seedlings and young plants of squash, melons, and cucumbers. Heavy infestations can result in complete loss of these crops.
The melon fruit fly regulations, contained in 7 CFR 301.97 through 301.97-10 (referred to below as the regulations), restrict the interstate movement of regulated articles from quarantined areas to prevent the spread of melon fruit fly to noninfested areas of the United States.
In an interim rule effective on February 22, 2000, and published in the Federal Register on February 22, 2000 (65 FR 8633-8640, Docket No. 99-097-1), 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 melon fruit fly has been eradicated from the quarantined portion of Los Angeles County, CA. The last finding of melon fruit fly in this area was November 15, 1999.
Since then, no evidence of melon fruit fly infestation has been found in this area. Based on our experience, we have determined that sufficient time has passed to conclude that the melon 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 § 301.97-3(c). Melon fruit fly infestations are not known to exist anywhere else in the continental United States.
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 remove an unnecessary regulatory burden on the public. A portion of Los Angeles County, CA, was quarantined due to the possibility that the melon 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 Start Printed Page 39780articles from a portion of Los Angeles County, CA.
Within the previously quarantined portion of Los Angeles County, CA, there are approximately 413 small entities that may be affected by this rule. These include 3 distributors, 250 fruit sellers, 27 growers, 126 nurseries, 1 processor, 3 community gardens, 2 swap meets, and 1 farmers market. These 413 entities comprise less than 1 percent of the total number of similar entities operating in the State of California. Additionally, these small entities sell regulated articles 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 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.)
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.).Start List of Subjects
List of Subjects in 7 CFR Part 301
- Agricultural commodities
- Plant diseases and pests
- Reporting and recordkeeping requirements
Accordingly, we are amendingEnd Amendment Part Start Part
PART 301—DOMESTIC QUARANTINE NOTICES
1. The authority citation for part 301 continues to read as follows:End Part Start Amendment Part
2. In § 301.97-3, paragraph (c) is revised to read as follows:End Amendment Part
(c) The areas described below are designated as quarantined areas: There are no areas in the continental United States quarantined for the melon fruit fly.
Done in Washington, DC, this 22nd day of June 2000.
Bobby R. Acord,
Acting Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.
[FR Doc. 00-16313 Filed 6-27-00; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3410-34-U