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Notice

Availability of a Draft Environmental Assessment for Field Testing Salmonella Typhimurium Vaccine, Live Culture

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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:

Notice.

SUMMARY:

We are advising the public that the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service has prepared a draft environmental assessment concerning authorization to ship for the purpose of field testing, and then to field test, an unlicensed live Salmonella typhimurium vaccine for use in poultry. The environmental assessment, which is based on a risk analysis prepared to assess the risks associated with the field testing of this vaccine, examines the potential effects that field testing this veterinary vaccine could have on the quality of the human environment. Based on the risk analysis, we have reached a preliminary determination that field testing this veterinary vaccine will not have a significant impact on the quality of the human environment, and that an environmental impact statement need not be prepared. We intend to authorize shipment of this vaccine for field testing following the close of the comment period for this notice unless new substantial issues bearing on the effects of this action are brought to our attention. We also intend to issue a veterinary biological product license for this vaccine, provided the field test data support the conclusions of the environmental assessment and the issuance of a finding of no significant impact and the product meets all other requirements for licensure.

DATES:

We invite you to comment on this docket. We will consider all comments that we receive by September 5, 2000.

ADDRESSES:

Please send your comments and three copies to: Docket No. 00-069-1, 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. 00-069-1.

Copies of the draft environmental assessment may be obtained by contacting the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT. Please refer to the docket number, date, and complete title of this notice when requesting copies. A copy of the draft environmental assessment (as well as the risk analysis with confidential business information removed) and any comments that we receive on this docket are available for public inspection in our reading room. The reading room is located in room 1141 of the South Building, 14th Street and Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC. Normal reading room hours are 8 a.m. and 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:

Dr. Albert P. Morgan, Chief Staff Officer, Operational Support Section, Center for Veterinary Biologics, Licensing and Policy Development, VS, APHIS, USDA, 4700 River Road Unit 148, Riverdale, MD 20737-1231; (301) 734-8245.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Under the Virus-Serum-Toxin Act (21 U.S.C. 151 et seq.), a veterinary biological product must be shown to be pure, safe, potent, and efficacious before a veterinary biological product license may be issued. A field test is generally necessary to satisfy prelicensing requirements for veterinary biological products. Prior to conducting a field test on an unlicensed product, an applicant must obtain approval from the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), as well as obtain APHIS' authorization to ship the product for field testing.

To determine whether to authorize shipment and grant approval for the field testing of the unlicensed product referenced in this notice, APHIS conducted a risk analysis to assess the potential effects of this product on the safety of animals, public health, and the environment. Based on the risk analysis, APHIS has prepared a draft environmental assessment (EA) concerning the field testing of the following unlicensed veterinary biological product:

Requester: Biomune Company.

Product: Salmonella Typhimurium Vaccine, Live Culture.

Field test locations: Texas, Georgia, and Delaware.

The above-mentioned vaccine is for use in chickens as an aid in the reduction of colonization of the internal organs by Salmonella typhimurium. Genetic alterations limit the ability of the vaccine bacteria to replicate in vertebrate tissues.

The draft EA has been 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).

Unless substantial environmental issues are raised in response to this notice, APHIS intends to issue a final EA and finding of no significant impact (FONSI) and authorize shipment of the above product for the initiation of field tests following the close of the comment period for this notice.

Because the issues raised by field testing and by issuance of a license are identical, APHIS has concluded that the EA that is generated for field testing would also be applicable to the proposed licensing action. Provided that the field test data support the conclusions of the original EA and the issuance of a FONSI, APHIS does not intend to issue a separate EA and FONSI to support the issuance of the product license, and would determine that an environmental impact statement need not be prepared. APHIS intends to issue a veterinary biological product license Start Printed Page 47711for this vaccine following completion of the field test provided no adverse impacts on the human environment are identified and provided the product meets all other requirements for licensure.

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Authority: 21 U.S.C. 151-159.

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

Craig A. Reed,

Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

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[FR Doc. 00-19609 Filed 8-2-00; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 3410-34-P