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Notice

Notice of Request for Extension of Approval of an Information Collection; Irradiation Phytosanitary Treatment of Imported Fruits and Vegetables

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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 for the use of irradiation as a phytosanitary treatment of imported fruits and vegetables.

DATES:

We will consider all comments that we receive on or before August 7, 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-2006-0094 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 Docket No. APHIS-2006-0094, 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 Docket No. APHIS-2006-0094.

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: 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:

For information regarding regulations for irradiation as a phytosanitary treatment of imported fruits and vegetables, contact Dr. Inder P. Gadh, Senior Risk Manager-Treatments, Commodity Import Analysis and Operations, PPQ, APHIS, 4700 River Road Unit 133, Riverdale, MD 20737; (301) 734-8758. 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: Irradiation Phytosanitary Treatment of Imported Fruits and Vegetables.

OMB Number: 0579-0155.

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

Abstract: Under the Plant Protection Act (7 U.S.C. 7701 et seq.), the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is authorized, among other things, to regulate the importation of plants, plant products, and other articles to prevent the introduction of plant pests into the United States.

The regulations in 7 CFR part 319 include specific requirements for the importation of fruits and vegetables. For example, fruits and vegetables from certain regions of the world must be treated for insect pests in order to be eligible for entry into the United States.

The regulations in 7 CFR part 305 provide for the use of irradiation as a phytosanitary treatment for fruits and vegetables imported into the United States. The irradiation treatment provides protection against all inspect pests including fruit flies, the mango seed weevil, and others. It may be used as an alternative to other approved treatments for these pests in fruits and vegetables, such as fumigation, cold treatment, heat treatment, and other techniques.

These regulations involve the collection of information, including a compliance agreement, 24-hour notification, labeling, dosimetry recordings, requests for dosimetry device approval, requests for facility approval, trust fund agreement, and annual work plan, as well as recordkeeping.

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 information collection, 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 information collection 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 0.0768064 hours per response.

Respondents: Foreign plant protection services, irradiation facility personnel, importers.

Estimated annual number of respondents: 25.

Estimated annual number of responses per respondent: 395.8.

Estimated annual number of responses: 9,895.

Estimated total annual burden on respondents: 760 hours. (Due to Start Printed Page 33279averaging, 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 2nd day of June 2006.

Kevin Shea,

Acting Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

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[FR Doc. E6-8934 Filed 6-7-06; 8:45 am]

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