Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA
We are advising the public that the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service has prepared an environmental assessment concerning authorization to ship for the purpose of field testing, and then to field test, an unlicensed West Nile Virus Vaccine for use in horses. 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 U.S. 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.
We will consider all comments that we receive on or before February 27, 2003.
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. 03-003-1, 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. 03-003-1. 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. 03-003-1” on the subject line.
You may read the environmental assessment, the risk analysis (with confidential business information removed), and any comments that we receive 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 Start Printed Page 4165hours 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.
You may request a copy of the environmental assessment (as well as the risk analysis with confidential business information removed) by writing to Dr. Larry R. Ludemann, USDA, APHIS, VS, CVB-LPD, 510 South 17th Street, Suite 104, Ames, IA 50010, or by calling (515) 232-5785. Please refer to the docket number, date and complete title of this of this notice when requesting copies.
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.Start Further Info
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; phone (301) 734-8245; fax (301) 734-4314. For information regarding the environmental assessment or the risk analysis, contact Dr. Larry R. Ludemann, USDA, APHIS, VS, CVB-LPD, 510 South 17th Street, Suite 104, Ames, IA 50010; (515) 232-5785.End Further Info End Preamble Start Supplemental 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 unlicenced 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 unlicenced 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 an environmental assessment (EA) concerning the field testing of the following unlicenced veterinary biological product:
Requester: Fort Dodge Animal Health, Inc.
Product: West Nile Virus Vaccine, DNA Vaccine, Code 1995.D0.
Field Test Locations: California, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Ohio, and Oklahoma.
The above-mentioned product is an Esherichia coli plasmid containing the prM and E genes of the West Nile virus. The vaccine is for use in horses as an aid in the prevention of viremia associated with West Nile virus infection.
The 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 provision 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 issues with adverse environmental impacts are raised in response to this notice, APHIS intends to issue a finding of no significant impact (FONSI) based on the EA 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 for 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.Start Signature
Done in Washington, DC, this 22nd day of January, 2003.
Bobby R. Acord,
Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.
[FR Doc. 03-1864 Filed 1-27-03; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3410-34-M