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Notice

Availability of a Draft Pest Risk Assessment for Hass Avocados From Peru

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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:

Notice of availability and request for comments.

SUMMARY:

We are advising the public that a draft pest risk assessment has been prepared by the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service relative to a proposed rule currently under consideration that would allow the importation into the continental United States of fresh Hass avocados from Peru. We are making this draft pest risk assessment available to the public for review and comment.

DATES:

We will consider all comments that we receive on or before July 24, 2006.

ADDRESSES:

You may submit comments by either of the following methods:

Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and, in the lower “Search Regulations and Federal Actions” box, select “Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service” from the agency drop-down menu, then click on “Submit.” In the Docket ID column, select APHIS-2006-0072 to submit or view public comments and to view supporting and related materials available electronically. Information on using Regulations.gov, including instructions for accessing documents, submitting comments, and viewing the docket after the close of the comment period, is available through the site's “User Tips” link.

Postal Mail/Commercial Delivery: Please send four copies of your comment (an original and three copies) to APHIS-2006-0072, Regulatory Analysis and Development, PPD, APHIS, Station 3A-03.8, 4700 River Road, Unit 118, Riverdale, MD 20737-1238. Please state that your comment refers to APHIS-2006-0072.

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: Additional information about APHIS and its programs is available on the Internet at http://www.aphis.usda.gov.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Mr. Juan Roman, Import Specialist, PPQ, APHIS, 4700 River Road Unit 133, Riverdale, MD 20737-1237; (301) 734-8758.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

The regulations in “Subpart—Fruits and Vegetables” (7 CFR 319.56 through 319.56-8, referred to below as the regulations) prohibit or restrict the importation of fruits and vegetables into the United States from certain parts of the world to prevent the introduction and dissemination of plant pests that are new to or not widely distributed within the United States.

The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is considering amending the regulations to allow the importation of fresh Hass avocados from Peru into the continental United States. We have prepared a draft pest risk assessment entitled, “Importation of ‘Hass’ Avocado (Persea americana) Fruit from Peru into the Continental United States” (May 2006), in order to consider the pest risks associated with the importation of fresh Hass avocados from Peru into the continental United States. We are making the draft pest risk assessment available to the public for review and comment.

The draft pest risk assessment may be viewed on the Regulations.gov Web site or in our reading room (see ADDRESSES above for instructions for accessing Regulations.gov and information on the location and hours of the reading room). You may request paper copies of the draft pest risk assessment by calling or writing to the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT. Please refer to the title of the draft pest risk assessment when requesting copies.

This notice solicits public comments on the draft pest risk assessment. We will also make the draft pest risk assessment available for public comment during the comment period for any proposed rule related to the importation of Hass avocados from Peru.

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Authority: 7 U.S.C. 450, 7701-7772, and 7781-7786; 21 U.S.C. 136 and 136a; 7 CFR 2.22, 2.80, and 371.3.

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Done in Washington, DC, this 19th day of May 2006.

W. Ron DeHaven,

Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

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[FR Doc. E6-8074 Filed 5-24-06; 8:45 am]

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