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Rule

Oriental Fruit Fly; Designation of Quarantined Area

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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This document has been published in the Federal Register. Use the PDF linked in the document sidebar for the official electronic format.

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AGENCY:

Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA.

ACTION:

Interim rule and request for comments.

SUMMARY:

We are amending the Oriental fruit fly regulations by quarantining a portion of Los Angeles and Orange Counties, CA, and restricting the interstate movement of regulated articles from the quarantined area. This action is necessary on an emergency basis to prevent the spread of Oriental fruit fly into noninfested areas of the United States.

DATES:

This interim rule was effective January 6, 2003. We will consider all comments that we receive on or before March 11, 2003.

ADDRESSES:

You may submit comments by postal mail/commercial delivery or by e-mail. If you use postal mail/commercial delivery, please send four copies of your comment (an original and three copies) to: Docket No. 02-130-1, Regulatory Analysis and Development, PPD, APHIS, Station 3C71, 4700 River Road Unit 118, Riverdale, MD 20737-1238. Please state that your comment refers to Docket No. 02-130-1. If you use e-mail, address your comment to regulations@aphis.usda.gov. Your comment must be contained in the body of your message; do not send attached files. Please include your name and address in your message and “Docket No. 02-130-1” on the subject line.

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 Start Printed Page 1361help 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:

Mr. Stephen A. Knight, Senior Staff Officer, PPQ, APHIS, 4700 River Road Unit 134, Riverdale, MD 20737-1236; (301) 734-8247.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

The Oriental fruit fly, Bactrocera dorsalis (Hendel), is a destructive pest of citrus and other types of fruit, nuts, vegetables, and berries. The short life cycle of the Oriental fruit fly allows rapid development of serious outbreaks, which can cause severe economic losses. Heavy infestations can cause complete loss of crops.

The Oriental fruit fly regulations, contained in 7 CFR 301.93 through 301.93-10 (referred to below as the regulations), were established to prevent the spread of the Oriental fruit fly into noninfested areas of the United States. Section 301.93-3(a) provides that the Administrator will list as a quarantined area each State, or each portion of a State, in which the Oriental fruit fly has been found by an inspector, in which the Administrator has reason to believe that the Oriental fruit fly is present, or that the Administrator considers necessary to regulate because of its proximity to the Oriental fruit fly or its inseparability for quarantine enforcement purposes from localities in which the Oriental fruit fly has been found. The regulations impose restrictions on the interstate movement of regulated articles from the quarantined areas. Quarantined areas are listed in § 301.93-3(c).

Less than an entire State will be designated as a quarantined area only if the Administrator determines that: (1) The State has adopted and is enforcing restrictions on the intrastate movement of the regulated articles that are substantially the same as those imposed on the interstate movement of regulated articles and (2) the designation of less than the entire State as a quarantined area will prevent the interstate spread of the Oriental fruit fly.

Recent trapping surveys by inspectors of California State and county agencies and by inspectors of the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service reveal that a portion of Los Angeles and Orange Counties, CA, is infested with the Oriental fruit fly.

State agencies in California have begun an intensive Oriental fruit fly eradication program in the quarantined area in Los Angeles and Orange Counties. Also, California has taken action to restrict the intrastate movement of regulated articles from the quarantined area.

Accordingly, to prevent the spread of the Oriental fruit fly into noninfested areas of the United States, we are amending the regulations in § 301.93-3 by designating a portion of Los Angeles and Orange Counties, CA, as a quarantined area for the Oriental fruit fly. The quarantined area is described in the rule portion of this document.

Emergency Action

This rulemaking is necessary on an emergency basis to prevent the Oriental fruit fly from spreading to noninfested areas of the United States. Under these circumstances, the Administrator has determined that prior notice and opportunity for public comment are contrary to the public interest and that there is good cause under 5 U.S.C. 553 for making this rule effective less than 30 days after publication in the Federal Register.

We will consider comments we receive during the comment period for this interim rule (see DATES above). After the comment period closes, we will publish another document in the Federal Register. The document will include a discussion of any comments we receive and any amendments we are making to the rule.

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 Oriental fruit fly regulations by adding a portion of Los Angeles and Orange Counties, CA, to the list of quarantined areas. The regulations restrict the interstate movement of regulated articles from a quarantined area.

Within the quarantined area there are approximately 389 small entities that may be affected by this rule. These include 351 fruit sellers, 3 growers, 33 nurseries, 1 certified farmers' market, and 1 swapmeet. These 389 entities comprise less than 1 percent of the total number of similar entities operating in the State of California. Additionally, these small entities sell regulated articles primarily for local intrastate, not interstate movement, so the effect, if any, of this regulation on these entities appears to be minimal.

The effect on those few entities that do move regulated articles interstate will be minimized by the availability of various treatments that, in most cases, will allow these small entities to move regulated articles interstate with very little additional cost.

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 12372

This program/activity is listed in the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance under No. 10.025 and is subject to Executive Order 12372, which requires intergovernmental consultation with State and local officials. (See 7 CFR part 3015, subpart V.)

Executive Order 12988

This interim 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.

National Environmental Policy Act

An environmental assessment and finding of no significant impact have been prepared for this interim rule. The site-specific environmental assessment provides a basis for the conclusion that the implementation of integrated pest management to eradicate the Oriental fruit fly will not have a significant impact on human health and the natural environment. Based on the finding of no significant impact, the Administrator of the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service has determined that an environmental impact statement need not be prepared.

The environmental assessment and finding of no significant impact were 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).

Copies of the environmental assessment and finding of no significant impact are available for review in our reading room (information on the Start Printed Page 1362location and hours of the reading room is listed under the heading ADDRESSES at the beginning of this notice). In addition, copies may be obtained by calling or writing to the individual listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT. The environmental assessment and finding of no significant impact may also be viewed on the Internet at http://www.aphis.usda.gov/​ppd/​es/​ppq/​lamiroff.pdf.

Paperwork Reduction Act

This rule contains no new 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 301

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Accordingly,

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PART 301—DOMESTIC QUARANTINE NOTICES

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1. The authority citation for part 301 is revised to read as follows:

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Authority: 7 U.S.C. 7711, 7712, 7714, 7731, 7735, 7751, 7752, 7753, 7754, and 7760; 7 CFR 2.22, 2.80, and 371.3.

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Section 301.75-15 also issued under Sec. 204, Title II, Pub. L. 106-113, 113 Stat. 1501A-293; sections 301.75-15 and 301.75-16 also issued under Sec. 203, Title II, Pub. L. 106-224, 114 Stat. 400 (7 U.S.C. 1421 note).

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2. In § 301.93-3, paragraph (c) is amended by adding, under the heading “CALIFORNIA”, an entry for Los Angeles and Orange Counties to read as follows:

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Quarantined areas.
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(c) * * *

California

Los Angeles and Orange Counties. That portion of Los Angeles and Orange Counties in the La Mirada area bounded by a line as follows: Beginning at the intersection of Whittier Boulevard and Euclid Street; then south on Euclid Street to its intersection with La Palma Avenue; then west on La Palma Avenue to its intersection with Brookhurst Street; then south on Brookhurst Street to its intersection with Lincoln Avenue; then west on Lincoln Avenue to its intersection with Moody Street; then north on Moody Street to its intersection with Crescent Avenue; then west on Crescent Avenue to its intersection with Centralia Street; then west on Centralia Street to its intersection with Pioneer Boulevard; then north on Pioneer Boulevard to its intersection with 166th Street; then west on 166th Street to its intersection with Maidstone Avenue; then north on Maidstone Avenue to its intersection with Excelsior Drive; then east on Excelsior Drive to its intersection with Pioneer Boulevard; then north on Pioneer Boulevard to its intersection with Florence Avenue; then northeast on Florence Avenue to its intersection with Whittier Boulevard; then south and east on Whittier Boulevard to the point of beginning.

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Done in Washington, DC, this 6th day of January 2003 .

Peter Fernandez,

Acting Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

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[FR Doc. 03-491 Filed 1-9-03; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 3410-34-P