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Notice

Notice of Request for Extension of a Currently Approved Information Collection

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AGENCY:

Agricultural Marketing Service, USDA.

ACTION:

Notice and request for comments.

SUMMARY:

In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. Chapter 35), this notice announces the Agricultural Marketing Service's (AMS) intention to request an extension for a currently approved information collection for the Marketing Order Regulating the Handling of Spearmint Oil Produced in the Far West, M.O. No. 985.

DATES:

Comments on this notice must be received by October 2, 2000.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION OR COMMENTS:

Contact Caroline C. Thorpe, Marketing Specialist, Marketing Order Administration Branch, Fruit and Vegetable Programs, AMS, USDA, room 2525-S, P.O. Box 96456, Washington, DC 20090-6456; Tel: (202) 720-8139, Fax: (202) 720-5698, or E-mail: moab.docketclerk@usda.gov.

Small businesses may request information on this notice by contacting Jay Guerber, Regulatory Fairness Representative, Marketing Order Administration Branch, Fruit and Vegetable Programs, AMS, USDA, room 2525-S, P.O. Box 96456, Washington, D.C., 20090-6456; telephone (202) 720-2491, Fax: (202) 720-5698, or E-mail: Jay.Guerber@usda.gov.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Title: Marketing Order Regulating the Handling of Spearmint Oil Produced in the Far West, M.O. No. 985.

OMB Number: 0581-0065.

Expiration Date of Approval: April 30, 2001.

Type of Request: Extension and revision of a currently approved information collection.

Abstract: Marketing order programs provide an opportunity for producers of fresh fruits, vegetables and specialty crops, in a specified production area, to work together to solve marketing problems that cannot be solved individually. Order regulations help ensure adequate supplies of high quality product and adequate returns to producers. Under the Agricultural Marketing Agreement Act of 1937 (Act), as amended (7 U.S.C. 601-674), industries enter into marketing order programs. The Secretary of Agriculture is authorized to oversee the order operations and issue regulations recommended by a committee of representatives from each commodity industry.

The information collection requirements in this request are essential to carry out the intent of the Act, to provide the respondents the type of service they request, and to administer the program, which has operated since 1980.

The Far West spearmint marketing order regulates the handling of spearmint oil produced in the Far West (Washington, Idaho, Oregon, and designated parts of Nevada and Utah), hereinafter referred to as the “order.” The order authorizes the issuance of allotment provisions for producers and regulates the quantities of spearmint oil handled. The order also has research and development authority.

The order, and rules and regulations issued thereunder, authorize the Spearmint Oil Administrative Committee (Committee), the agency responsible for local administration of the order, to require handlers and producers to submit certain information. Much of this information is compiled in aggregate and provided to the industry to assist in marketing decisions.

The Committee has developed forms as a means for persons to file required information with the Committee relating to spearmint supplies, shipments, dispositions, and other information needed to effectively carry out the purpose of the Act and order. The marketing year for the order is June 1 through May 31, with production occurring in the months of June through September. Forms are utilized throughout the year. A USDA form is used to allow producers to vote on amendments to or continuance of the marketing order. In addition, the Committee is composed of spearmint oil producers, nominated by their peers, to serve as representatives on the Committee. All nominees must file nomination forms with the Secretary.

Formal rulemaking amendments to the order must be approved in referenda conducted by the Secretary. Also, the Secretary may conduct a continuance referendum to determine industry support for continuation of the order. Handlers are asked to sign an agreement to indicate their willingness to abide by the provisions of the order whenever the order is amended.

The forms covered under this information collection require the minimum information necessary to effectively carry out the requirements of the order, and their use is necessary to fulfill the intent of the Act as expressed in the order, and the rules and regulations issued under the order.

The information collected is used only by authorized representatives of the USDA, including AMS, Fruit and Vegetable Programs' regional and headquarters staff, and authorized employees of the Committee. Authorized Committee employees and the industry are the primary users of the information, and AMS is the secondary user.

Estimate of Burden: Public reporting burden for this collection of information is estimated to average .12 hours per response.

Respondents: Far West Spearmint producers and handlers and two public members in the production area.

Estimated Number of Respondents: 217.

Estimated Number of Responses per Respondent: 6.06.

Estimated Total Annual Burden on Respondents: 162 hours.

Comments: Comments are invited on: (1) Whether the proposed collection of the information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility; (2) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (3) ways to enhance the quality, utility Start Printed Page 47373and clarity of the information to be collected; and (4) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

Comments should reference OMB No. 0581-0102 and the Spearmint Marketing Order No. 985, and be mailed to Docket Clerk, Fruit and Vegetable Programs, AMS, USDA, P.O. Box 96456, Room 2525-S, Washington, D.C. 20090-6456; Fax (202) 720-5698; or E-mail: moab.docketclerk@usda.gov. Comments should reference the docket number and the date and page number of this issue of the Federal Register. All comments received will be available for public inspection in the Office of the Docket Clerk during regular USDA business hours at 14th and Independence Ave., SW., Washington, DC, room 2525-S.

All responses to this notice will be summarized and included in the request for OMB approval. All comments will also become a matter of public record.

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Dated: July 28, 2000.

Robert C. Kenney,

Deputy Administrator, Fruit and Vegetable Programs.

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[FR Doc. 00-19565 Filed 8-1-00; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 3410-02-P