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Proposed Rule

California Almonds; Section 610 Review of Marketing Order

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Agricultural Marketing Service, USDA.


Notice of review and request for comments.


This action announces that the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) plans to review Marketing Order 981 for almonds grown in California, under the criteria contained in section 610 of the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA).


Written comments on this action must be received by August 13, 2001.


Interested persons are invited to submit written comments concerning this notice of review. Comments must be sent to the Docket Clerk, Fruit and Vegetable Programs, AMS, USDA, Room 2525-S, Box 96456, Washington, DC 20090-6456; Fax: (202) 720-8938; or E-mail: All comments should reference the docket number and the date and page number of this issue of the Federal Register and will be made available for public inspection in the Office of the Docket Clerk during regular business hours, or may be viewed at​fv/​moab.html.

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Martin Engeler, California Marketing Field Office, Marketing Order Administration Branch, Fruit and Vegetable Programs, AMS, USDA, 2202 Monterey Street, Suite 102B, Fresno, California 93721; telephone: (209) 487-5901; Fax: (209) 487-5906; E-mail:; or George Kelhart, Marketing Order Administration Branch, Fruit and Vegetable Programs, AMS, USDA, room 2525-S, P.O. Box 96456, Washington, DC 20090-6456; telephone: (202) 720-2491; Fax: (202) 720-8938; E-mail:

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Marketing Order No. 981, as amended (7 CFR part 981), regulates the handling of almonds grown in California. The marketing order is effective under the Agricultural Marketing Agreement Act of 1937 (AMAA), as amended (7 U.S.C. 601-674).

AMS published in the Federal Register (63 FR 8014; February 18, 1999), its plan to review certain regulations, including Marketing Order No. 981, under criteria contained in section 610 of the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA; 5 U.S.C. 601-612). Because many AMS regulations impact small entities, AMS decided, as a matter of policy, to review certain regulations which, although they may not meet the threshold requirement under section 610 of the RFA, warrant review. The February 18 notice stated that AMS would list the regulations to be reviewed in AMS' regulatory agenda which is published in the Federal Register as part of the Unified Agenda. However, after further consideration, AMS has decided to announce the reviews in the Federal Register separate from the Unified Agenda. Accordingly, this notice and request for comments is made for California almonds.

The purpose of the review will be to determine whether the California marketing order for almonds should be continued without change, amended, or rescinded (consistent with the objectives of the AMAA) to minimize the impacts on small entities. In conducting this review, AMS will consider the following factors: (1) The continued need for the marketing order; (2) the nature of complaints or comments received from the public concerning the marketing order; (3) the complexity of the marketing order; (4) the extent to which the marketing order overlaps, duplicates, or conflicts with other Federal rules, and, to the extent feasible, with State and local governmental rules; and (5) the length of time since the marketing order has been evaluated or the degree to which technology, economic conditions, or other factors have changed in the area affected by the marketing order.

Written comments, views, opinions, and other information regarding the almond marketing order's impact on small businesses are invited.

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Dated: June 7, 2001.

Kenneth C. Clayton,

Acting Administrator, Agricultural Marketing Service.

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[FR Doc. 01-14832 Filed 6-12-01; 8:45 am]