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Notice

Notice of Request for Extension of Approval of an Information Collection

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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 associated with regulations to protect endangered species of terrestrial plants.

DATES:

We will consider all comments that we receive on or before June 13, 2005.

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. 05-020-1, 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. 05-020-1.

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 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 to protect endangered species of terrestrial plants, contact Mr. James Petit de Mange, CITES and Plant Inspection Station Coordinator, Quarantine Policy, Analysis and Support, PPQ, APHIS, 4700 River Road, Unit 60, Riverdale, MD 20737; (301) 734-7839. 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: Endangered Species Regulations and Forfeiture Procedures.

OMB Number: 0579-0076.

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

Abstract: Under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.), the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is responsible for protecting endangered species of terrestrial plants by regulating the individuals or entities who are engaged in the business of importing, exporting, or reexporting these plants.

To carry out this mission, the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), USDA, administers regulations at 7 CFR part 355. In accordance with these regulations, any individual, nursery, or other entity wishing to engage in the business of importing, exporting, or reexporting terrestrial plants listed in the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora regulations at 50 CFR 17.12 or 23.23 must obtain a protected plant permit. This includes importers, exporters, or reexporters who sell, barter, collect, or otherwise exchange or acquire terrestrial plants as a livelihood or enterprise engaged in for gain or profit. This does not include persons engaged in business merely as carriers or customhouse brokers.

To obtain a protected plant permit, these individuals or entities must complete an application and submit it to APHIS for approval. When a permit has been issued, the plants covered by the permit may be imported into the United States, exported, or reexported, provided they are accompanied by documentation required by the regulations and provided all other conditions of the regulations are met.

Effectively regulating entities who are engaged in the business of importing, exporting, or reexporting endangered species requires the use of this application process, as well as the use of other information collection activities, such as notifying APHIS of the impending importation, exportation, or reexportation of endangered species, marking containers used for the importation, exportation, and reexportation of plants, and creating and maintaining records of importation, exportation, and reexportation.

The information provided by these information collection activities is critical to our ability to carry out the responsibilities assigned to us by the Endangered Species Act. These responsibilities include the careful monitoring of importation, exportation, and reexportation activities involving endangered species of plants, as well as investigating possible violations of the Endangered Species Act.

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 Start Printed Page 19054are 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 0.13575 hours per response.

Respondents: U.S. importers, exporters, and reexporters of endangered species of terrestrial plants.

Estimated annual number of respondents: 8,197.

Estimated annual number of responses per respondent: 4.4647.

Estimated annual number of responses: 36,597.

Estimated total annual burden on respondents: 4,968 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 6th day of April 2005.

Elizabeth E. Gaston,

Acting Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

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[FR Doc. E5-1682 Filed 4-11-05; 8:45 am]

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