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Rule

Untreated Citrus From Mexico Transiting the United States

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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:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

We are amending the plant quarantine safeguard regulations to remove Brownsville and Hidalgo, TX, as ports of entry for untreated Mexican oranges, tangerines, and grapefruit transiting the United States for export to another country. We are also removing Brownsville, TX, as an authorized port for the exportation by water of shipments of untreated Mexican oranges, tangerines, and grapefruit. We are taking these actions because neither port has been used for these purposes in over 20 years. These actions will update the regulations so that they accurately reflect the ports used for the importation and exportation by water of untreated citrus from Mexico.

EFFECTIVE DATE:

August 15, 2002.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Ms. Pam Byrne, Senior Operations Officer, Port Operations, PPQ, APHIS, 4700 River Road Unit 60, Riverdale, MD 20737-1231; (301) 734-5242.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

The plant quarantine safeguard regulations in 7 CFR part 352 relieve restrictions for certain plants, plant products, plant pests, soil, and other products and articles that are classified as prohibited or restricted in other regulations in title 7, chapter III. Such plant products include fruits and vegetables that are moved into the United States for: (1) A temporary stay where unloading or landing is not intended; (2) unloading or landing for transshipment and exportation; (3) unloading or landing for transportation and exportation; or (4) unloading and entry at a port other than the port of arrival. Fruits and vegetables that are moved into the United States under these circumstances are subject to inspection and must be handled in accordance with conditions assigned under the safeguard regulations to prevent the introduction and spread of plant pests.

The regulations in § 352.30 address the movement into or through the United States of untreated oranges, tangerines, and grapefruit from Mexico that transit the United States en route to foreign countries. Those regulations have allowed untreated oranges, tangerines, and grapefruit from Mexico to enter the United States at the ports of Nogales, AZ, or Brownsville, Eagle Pass, El Paso, Hidalgo, or Laredo, TX, and be moved, under certain conditions, by truck or railcar to seaports at Brownsville and Galveston, TX, for export by water to another country.

In a proposed rule published in the Federal Register on March 21, 2002 (67 FR 13103-13104, Docket No. 01-073-1), we proposed to amend the regulations by removing Brownsville and Hidalgo, TX, as ports of entry for untreated oranges, tangerines, and grapefruit from Mexico. In the same document, we also proposed to remove Brownsville, TX, as an authorized port for the exportation by water of such fruit.

We solicited comments concerning our proposal for 60 days ending May 20, 2002. We did not receive any comments. Therefore, for the reasons given in the proposed rule, we are adopting the proposed rule as a final rule, without change.

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 under Executive Order 12866.

This rule amends the plant quarantine safeguard regulations by removing Brownsville and Hidalgo, TX, as ports of entry for untreated Mexican oranges, tangerines, and grapefruit transiting the United States for export to another country. We are also removing Brownsville, TX, as an authorized port for the exportation by water of shipments of untreated Mexican oranges, tangerines, and grapefruit. We are taking these actions because neither port has been used for these purposes in over 20 years. These actions will update the regulations so that they accurately reflect the ports used for the importation and exportation by water of untreated citrus from Mexico.

Since the ports of Brownsville and Hidalgo, TX, have not been used for any shipments of untreated citrus from Mexico in over 20 years, this action will have no economic effect on any entity. Small entities located at or around the ports of Brownsville and Hidalgo, TX, will not be affected by this rule for the same reason that no economic entity of any size will be affected.

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 12988

This final 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 final rule contains no information collection or recordkeeping requirements under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.).

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List of Subjects in 7 CFR Part 352

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Accordingly, we are amending

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PART 352—PLANT QUARANTINE SAFEGUARD REGULATIONS

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1. The authority citation for part 352 is revised to read as follows:

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Start Printed Page 46578 Authority: 7 U.S.C. 7711-7714, 7731, 7734, and 8311; 21 U.S.C. 136 and 136a;31 U.S.C. 9701; 7 CFR 2.22, 2.80, and 371.3.

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[Amended]
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2. Section 352.30 is amended as follows:

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a. In paragraph (b)(2), by removing the words “Brownsville,” and “Hidalgo,”.

b. In paragraph (b)(3)(iii), by removing the words “Brownsville or”.

c. In paragraph (c)(1), by removing the words “Brownsville, or”.

d. In paragraph (c)(3), in the paragraph heading and in paragraphs (c)(3)(i) and (c)(3)(ii), by removing the words “Brownsville or” each time they appear.

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Done in Washington, DC, this 10th day of July, 2002.

Peter Fernandez,

Acting Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

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[FR Doc. 02-17796 Filed 7-15-02; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 3410-34-P