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Notice

Notice of Request for Extension of Approval of an Information Collection

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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:

Extension 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 an extension of approval of an information collection in support of regulations for the use of irradiation as a phytosanitary treatment for fruits and vegetables imported into the United States.

DATES:

We will consider all comments that we receive on or before July 14, 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. 03-042-1, 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. 03-042-1. 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. 03-042-1” 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 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 regulations for the use of irradiation as a phytosanitary treatment for fruits and vegetables imported into the United States, contact Dr. Inder P. Gadh, Import Specialist, Phytosanitary Issues Management Team, PPQ, APHIS, 4700 Road Unit 140, Riverdale, MD 20737-1236; (301) 734-5210. 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: Irradiation Phytosanitary Treatment for Fresh Fruits and Vegetables.

OMB Number: 0579-0155.

Type of Request: Extension of approval of an information collection.

Abstract: The Plant Protection Act (7 U.S.C. 7701-7772) authorizes the Secretary of Agriculture to regulate the importation of plants, plant products, and other articles into the United States to prevent the introduction of plant pests and noxious weeds.

The regulations in 7 CFR part 319 include specific requirements for the importation of fruits and vegetables. For example, fruits and vegetables from certain regions of the world must be treated for insect pests in order to be eligible for entry into the United States.

The regulations in 7 CFR part 305 provide for the use of irradiation as a phytosanitary treatment for certain fruits and vegetables imported into the United States. The irradiation treatment provides protection against 11 species of fruit flies and the mango seed weevil. It may be used as an alternative to other approved treatments for these pests in fruits and vegetables, such as fumigation, cold treatment, heat treatment, and other techniques.

This collection requires the submission of a compliance agreement, 24-hour notification, labeling requirements, dosimetry recordings, requests for dosimetry device approval, recordkeeping, requests for facility approval, trust fund agreement, and annual work plan.

We are asking the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to approve our use of these information collection activities for an additional 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 proposed 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 proposed 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 0.0825093 hours per response.

Respondents: Foreign plant protection services, irradiation facility personnel, importers.

Estimated annual number of respondents: 125.

Estimated annual number of responses per respondent: 999.16.

Estimated annual number of responses: 124,895.

Estimated total annual burden on respondents: 10,305 hours. (Due to averaging, 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 12th day of May, 2003.

Peter Fernandez,

Acting Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

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[FR Doc. 03-12166 Filed 5-14-03; 8:45 am]

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