Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA.
Interim rule and request for comments.
We are amending the Oriental fruit fly regulations by removing portions of Los Angeles and Orange Counties, CA, from the list of quarantined areas and by removing restrictions on the interstate movement of regulated articles from those areas. This action is necessary to relieve restrictions that are no longer needed to prevent the spread of the Oriental fruit fly into noninfested areas of the United States. We have determined that the Oriental fruit fly has been eradicated from those portions of Los Angeles and Orange Counties, CA, and that the quarantine and restrictions are no longer necessary.
This interim rule is effective July 15, 2003. We will consider all comments that we receive on or before September 22, 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. 02-130-2, 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. 02-130-2. If you use e-mail, address your comment to firstname.lastname@example.org. 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. 02-130-2” 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.Start Further Info
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:
Mr. Stephen Knight, PPQ, APHIS, 4700 River Road Unit 134, Riverdale, MD 20737-1231; (301) 734-8247.End Further Info End Preamble Start Supplemental Information
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. Start Printed Page 43287The regulations also designate soil and a large number of fruits, nuts, vegetables, and berries as regulated articles.
In an interim rule effective on January 6, 2003, and published in the Federal Register on January 10, 2003 (68 FR 1360-1362 Docket No. 02-130-1), we quarantined portions of Los Angeles and Orange Counties, CA, and restricted the interstate movement of regulated articles from the quarantined areas.
Based on trapping surveys conducted by inspectors of California State and county agencies and by inspectors of the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, we have determined that the Oriental fruit fly has been eradicated from the quarantined portions of these two counties. The last finding of Oriental fruit fly in the Los Angeles and Orange Counties, CA, quarantined areas was June 4, 2003.
Since then, no evidence of Oriental fruit fly infestation has been found in these areas. Based on our experience, we have determined that sufficient time has passed without finding additional flies or other evidence of infestation to conclude that the Oriental fruit fly no longer exists in Los Angeles or Orange Counties, CA. Therefore, we are removing the entry for these counties from the list of quarantined areas in § 301.93-3(c).
Immediate action is warranted to relieve restrictions that are no longer necessary. Portions of Los Angeles and Orange Counties, CA, were quarantined due to the possibility that the Oriental fruit fly could spread from those areas to noninfested areas of the United States. Since we have concluded that the Oriental fruit fly no longer exists in those counties, immediate action is necessary to remove the quarantines on Los Angeles and Orange Counties, CA, and to relieve the restrictions on the interstate movement of regulated articles from those areas. 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 action 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 action amends the Oriental fruit fly regulations by removing a portion of Los Angeles and Orange Counties, CA, from the list of quarantined areas.
County records indicate that within the quarantined portions of Los Angeles and Orange Counties, there are 389 small entities who could be affected by the lifting of the quarantine in this interim 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.
We expect that the effect of this interim rule on the small entities referred to above will be minimal. Small entities located within the quarantined area that sell regulated articles do so primarily for local intrastate, not interstate, movement, so the effect, if any, of this rule on these entities appears likely to be minimal. In addition, the effect on any small entities that may move regulated articles interstate has been minimized during the quarantine period by the availability of various treatments that allow these small entities, in most cases, to move regulated articles interstate with very little additional cost. Thus, just as the previous interim rule establishing the quarantined area in Los Angeles and Orange Counties, CA, had little effect on the small growers in the area, the lifting of the quarantine in the current interim rule will also have little effect.
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.)
This 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 interim rule contains no information collection or recordkeeping requirements under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.).Start List of Subjects
List of Subjects in 7 CFR Part 301
- Agricultural commodities
- Plant diseases and pests
- Reporting and recordkeeping requirements
Accordingly, we are amending 7 CFR part 301 as follows:End Amendment Part Start Part
PART 301—DOMESTIC QUARANTINE NOTICESEnd Part Start Amendment Part
1. The authority citation for part 301 continues to read as follows:End Amendment Part
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).
2. In § 301.93-3, paragraph (c) is amended by removing, under the heading “CALIFORNIA”, the entry for Los Angeles and Orange Counties.End Amendment Part Start Signature
Done in Washington, DC, this 15th day of July 2003.
Acting Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.
[FR Doc. 03-18602 Filed 7-21-03; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3410-34-P