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Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy; Minimal Risk Regions and Importation of Commodities; Availability of an Environmental Assessment With Corrections and Extension of Comment Period

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA.


Notice of availability and extension of comment period.


We are advising the public that the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service is making available a corrected version of an environmental assessment relative to a final rule that was published in the January 4, 2005, issue of the Federal Register. We are making the corrected version of the environmental assessment available to the public for review and comment through February 17, 2005.


We will consider all comments that we receive on or before February 17, 2005.


You may submit comments by any of the following methods:

  • EDOCKET: Go to​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. 03-080-5, Regulatory Analysis and Development, PPD, Start Printed Page 3184APHIS, Station 3C71, 4700 River Road Unit 118, Riverdale, MD 20737-1238. Please state that your comment refers to Docket No. 03-080-5.
  • E-mail: Address your comment to 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. 03-080-5” on the subject line.

Reading Room: You may read any comments that we receive on the environmental assessment 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​ppd/​rad/​webrepor.html.

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Dr. Karen James-Preston, Director, Technical Trade Services, National Center for Import and Export, VS, APHIS, 4700 River Road Unit 38, Riverdale, MD 20737-1231; (301) 734-4356.

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On January 4, 2005, the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) published in the Federal Register (70 FR 460-553, Docket No. 03-080-3) a final rule to amend the regulations regarding the importation of animals and animal products to recognize a category of regions that present a minimal risk of introducing bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) into the United States via live ruminants and ruminant products, and to add Canada to this category. The final rule also provides for the importation of certain live ruminants and ruminant products and byproducts from such regions under certain conditions.

Also in the January 4, 2005, issue of the Federal Register, we published a notice (70 FR 554, Docket No. 03-080-4) announcing the availability of, and requesting comments on, a final environmental assessment (EA) regarding the potential impact on the quality of the human environment due to the importation of ruminants and ruminant products and byproducts from Canada under the conditions specified in the final rule. APHIS' review and analysis of the potential environmental impacts associated with those importations were documented in the EA, titled “Rulemaking to Establish Criteria for the Importation of Designated Ruminants and Ruminant Products from Canada into the United States, Final Environmental Assessment (December 2004).” We announced that the EA would be available to the public for review and comment until February 3, 2005.

We have become aware, however, that the version of the EA that was made available on January 4, 2005, contained some transcription errors that resulted in the omission of several references to an updated APHIS risk analysis regarding the final rule, as well as the incorrect formatting of several source citations. We have corrected those errors.

We are giving notice that the corrected version of the EA is available to the public for review and comment, and we are extending the comment period on the EA until February 17, 2005.

The EA may be viewed on the EDOCKET Web site (see ADDRESSES above for instructions for accessing EDOCKET) or on the APHIS Web site at​lpa/​issues/​bse/​bse.html. You may request paper copies of the EA by calling or writing to the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT. Please refer to the title of the EA when requesting copies. The EA is also available for review in our reading room (information on the location and hours of the reading room is provided under the heading ADDRESSES at the beginning of this notice).

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 provisions of NEPA (40 CFR parts 1500-1508), (3) USDA regulations implementing NEPA (7 CFR part 1), and (4) APHIS' NEPA Implementing Procedures (7 CFR part 372).

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Done in Washington, DC, this 18th day of January 2005.

W. Ron DeHaven,

Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

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[FR Doc. 05-1202 Filed 1-19-05; 8:45 am]