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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 preventing the spread of the Asian longhorned beetle and restricting the interstate movement of regulated articles from the quarantined areas.

DATES:

We will consider all comments that we receive on or before October 18, 2004.

ADDRESSES:

You may submit comments by any of the following methods:

• EDOCKET: Go to http://www.epa.gov/​feddocket to submit or view public comments, access the index listing of the contents of the official public docket, and to access those documents in the public docket that are available electronically. Once you have entered EDOCKET, click on the “View Open APHIS Dockets” link to locate this document.

• Postal Mail/Commercial Delivery: Please send four copies of your comment (an original and three copies) to Docket No. 04-072-1, 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. 04-072-1.

• 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. 04-072-1” on the subject line.

• Agency Web Site: Go to http://www.aphis.usda.gov/​ppd/​rad/​cominst.html for a form you can use to submit an e-mail comment through the APHIS Web site.

Reading Room: 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.

Other Information: You may view APHIS documents published in the Federal Register and related information, including the names of groups and individuals who have commented on APHIS dockets, on the Internet at http://www.aphis.usda.gov/​ppd/​rad/​webrepor.html.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

For information regarding Asian longhorned beetle quarantine regulations, contact Mr. Michael B. Stefan, Director of Emergency Programs, Pest Detection and Management Programs, PPQ, APHIS, 4700 River Road Unit 134, Riverdale, MD 20737-1236; (301) 734-7338. 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: Asian Longhorned Beetle Regulations.

OMB Number: 0579-0122.

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

Abstract: The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is Start Printed Page 51057responsible for, among other things, the control and eradication of plant pests. The Plant Protection Act authorizes the Department to carry out this mission.

The Plant Protection and Quarantine (PPQ) program of USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is responsible for implementing the provisions of the Act and does so through the enforcement of its domestic quarantine regulations in 7 CFR part 301.

The Asian longhorned beetle (native to China, Japan, Korea, and the Isle of Hainan) is a destructive pest of hardwood trees, including maple, elm, ash, and horse chestnut. In addition, nursery stock, logs, green lumber, firewood, stumps, roots, branches, and wood debris of a half an inch or more in diameter are subject to infestation. The beetles bore into the heartwood of host trees, eventually killing the tree.

The Asian longhorned beetle has been found in hardwood trees in the boroughs of Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Queens in the city of New York, NY, and in portions of Nassau and Suffolk Counties, NY. The Asian longhorned beetle has also been found in portions of Cook and DuPage Counties, IL, and portions of Hudson County, NJ. If this insect spreads into the hardwood forests of the United States, it could cause substantial economic harm to the U.S. nursery and forest product industries.

To prevent this, we have regulations in place (7 CFR 301.51-1 through 301.51-9) quarantining the areas described above. These regulations also restrict the movement of regulated articles (such as nursery stock, green lumber, firewood, and other items) from these quarantined areas.

These regulations are designed to prevent the spread of the Asian longhorned beetle within the United States. Implementing the regulations requires us to engage in certain information collection activities, which necessitates the use of several forms, including limited permits, certificates, and compliance agreements.

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 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 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 0.4318 hours per response.

Respondents: Growers, shippers, exporters, and State plant health officials.

Estimated annual number of respondents: 475.

Estimated annual number of responses per respondent: 1.1894.

Estimated annual number of responses: 565.

Estimated total annual burden on respondents: 244 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 11th day of August 2004.

W. Ron DeHaven,

Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

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[FR Doc. 04-18786 Filed 8-16-04; 8:45 am]

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