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Notice

Notice of Request for Reinstatement of an Information Collection

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AGENCY:

Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA.

ACTION:

Reinstatement of approval of an information collection; comment request.

SUMMARY:

In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, this notice announces the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service's intention to request reinstatement of an information collection to allow nongovernment facilities to become accredited to perform services that could be used as the basis for export certification of plants or plant products.

DATES:

We invite you to comment on this docket. We will consider all comments we receive that are postmarked by January 7, 2002.

ADDRESSES:

Please send four copies of your comment (an original and three copies) to: Docket No. 01-077-1, 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. 01-077-1.

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:

For information regarding the accreditation program, contact Mr. Michael Ward, Program Manager, PPQ, APHIS, 4700 River Road Unit 140, Riverdale, MD 20737; (301) 734-5227. For copies of more detailed information on the information collection, contact Mrs. Celeste Sickles, APHIS' Information Collection Coordinator, at (301) 734-7477.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Title: Accreditation of Non-Government Facilities.

OMB Number: 0579-0130.

Type of Request: Reinstatement of an information collection.

Abstract: The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is responsible for preventing plant pests from entering the United States and controlling and eradicating plant pests in the United States. The Plant Protection Act authorizes the Department to carry out this mission. The Plant Protection and Quarantine (PPQ) program of USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is responsible for implementing the regulations that carry out the intent of this Act.

In performing this mission, APHIS provides export certification services to assure other countries that the plants and plant products they are receiving from the United States are free of plant pests.

The export certification regulations, which are contained in 7 CFR part 353, describe the procedures for obtaining certification for plants and plant products offered for export or reexport. Our regulations do not require that we engage in export certification activities; however, we perform this work as a service to exporters who are shipping plants or plant products to countries that require phytosanitary certification as a condition of entry.

After assessing the condition of the plants or plant products intended for export (i.e., after conducting a phytosanitary inspection), an inspector will issue an internationally recognized phytosanitary certificate, a phytosanitary certificate for reexport, or an export certificate for processed plant products. Laboratory testing of plant or plant product samples is an important component of the certification process.

The regulations in 7 CFR part 353 allow nongovernment facilities (such as commercial laboratories and private inspection services) to be accredited by APHIS to perform specific laboratory testing or phytosanitary inspections that could serve as the basis for issuing Federal phytosanitary certificates, phytosanitary certificates for reexport, or export certificates for processed plant products.

The accreditation process requires the use of several information collection activities to ensure that nongovernment facilities applying for accreditation possess the necessary qualification. We are asking approval from the Office or Management and Budget (OMB) to approve our use of these information collection activities for 3 years.

The purpose of this notice is to solicit comments from the public (as well as affected agencies) concerning our information collection. These comments will help us:

(1) Evaluate whether the collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the Agency, including whether the information will have practical utility;

(2) Evaluate the accuracy of our estimate of the burden of the collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used;

(3) Enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and

(4) Minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, through use, as appropriate, of automated, electronic, mechanical, and other collection technologies; e.g., permitting electronic submission of responses.

Estimate of burden: The public reporting burden for this collection of information is estimated to average 3.39080 hours per response.

Respondents: U.S. growers, shippers, and exporters; State and plant health protection authorities.

Estimated number of respondents: 87.

Estimated number of responses per respondent: 1.

Estimated annual number of responses: 87.

Estimated total annual burden on respondents: 295 hours. (Due to Start Printed Page 56533averaging, the total annual burden hours may not equal the product of the annual number of responses multiplied by the reporting burden per response.)

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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Done in Washington, DC, this 2nd day of November, 2001.

W. Ron DeHaven,

Acting Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

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[FR Doc. 01-28066 Filed 11-7-01; 8:45 am]

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