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Rule

Japanese Beetle; Addition of Iowa to the List of Quarantined States

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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.

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ACTION:

Interim rule and request for comments.

SUMMARY:

We are amending the Japanese beetle quarantine and regulations to add the State of Iowa to the list of quarantined States. This action is necessary to prevent the artificial spread of Japanese beetle into noninfested areas of the United States.

DATES:

This interim rule is effective June 21, 2006. We will consider all comments that we receive on or before August 21, 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-2006-0081 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-2006-0081, 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-2006-0081.

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:

Dr. S. Anwar Rizvi, Program Manager, Invasive Species and Pest Management, PPQ, APHIS, 4700 River Road Unit 134, Riverdale, MD 20737-1236; (301) 734-4313.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

The Japanese beetle (Popillia japonica) feeds on fruits, vegetables, and ornamental plants and is capable of causing damage to over 300 potential hosts. The Japanese beetle quarantine and regulations, contained in 7 CFR 301.48 through 301.48-8 (referred to below as the regulations), quarantine the States of Alabama, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and the District of Columbia and restrict the interstate movement of aircraft from regulated airports in these States in order to prevent the artificial spread of the Japanese beetle to noninfested States where the Japanese beetle could become established (referred to below as protected States). The list of quarantined States, as well as the list of protected States, can be found in § 301.48.

The Japanese beetle is active during daylight hours only. Under § 301.48-2 of the regulations, an inspector of the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) may designate any airport within a quarantined State as a regulated airport if he or she determines that adult populations of Japanese beetle exist during daylight hours at the airport to the degree that aircraft using the airport constitute a threat of artificially spreading the Japanese beetle and aircraft destined for any of the nine protected States (Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, and Washington) may be leaving the airport.

Also, under § 301.48-4 of the regulations, aircraft from regulated airports may move interstate to a protected State only if: (1) An inspector, upon visual inspection of the airport and/or the aircraft, determines that the aircraft does not present a threat of artificially spreading the Japanese beetle because adult beetle populations are not present; or (2) the aircraft is opened and loaded only while it is enclosed in a hangar that APHIS has determined to be free of and safeguarded against Japanese beetle; or (3) the aircraft is loaded during the hours of 8 p.m. to 7 a.m. (generally non-daylight hours) only or lands and departs during those hours and, in either situation, is kept completely closed while on the ground during the hours of 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.; or (4) if opened and loaded during daylight hours, the aircraft is inspected, treated, and safeguarded in accordance with the requirements described in § 301.48-4(d).

APHIS and State plant health officials constantly monitor the Japanese beetle population in the United States. Trapping surveys indicate that the State of Iowa is now infested with the Japanese beetle. In view of this development, we have determined that the State of Iowa should be listed as a quarantined State prior to the start of the 2006 season of Japanese beetle activity, which begins in mid-June in many parts of the country. Therefore, in this interim rule we are amending the regulations in § 301.48(a) by adding Iowa to the list of quarantined States.

Emergency Action

This rulemaking is necessary on an emergency basis to prevent the spread of Japanese beetle into noninfested areas of the United States. Under these circumstances, the Administrator has determined that prior notice and opportunity for public comment are contrary to the public interest and that there is good cause under 5 U.S.C. 553 for making this rule effective less than 30 days after publication in the Federal Register.

We will consider comments we receive during the comment period for this interim rule (see DATES above). After the comment period closes, we will publish another document in the Federal Register. The document will include a discussion of any comments we receive and any amendments we are making to the rule.

Executive Order 12866 and Regulatory Flexibility Act

This rule has been reviewed under Executive Order 12866. For this action, the Office of Management and Budget has waived its review under Executive Order 12866.

We are amending the Japanese beetle quarantine and regulations to add the State of Iowa to the list of quarantined States. This action is necessary to prevent the artificial spread of Japanese beetle into noninfested areas of the United States.

In 2002, all agricultural crop receipts for the nine protected States (Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, and Washington) totaled $30.6 billion.[1] The majority of these agricultural producers can be classified as small entities under the Small Business Administration's (SBA) criterion of $750,000 or less in annual Start Printed Page 35493receipts. Agricultural production is an important part of these nine protected States' economies. Reducing the risk of Japanese beetle introduction into protected States is worth the slight costs associated with inspection and occasional treatment for air carriers with flights to these States that originate in Iowa.

Entities affected by this action will be air carriers flying from regulated airports in Iowa to a protected State. The majority of air cargo is transported by large businesses. According to the SBA, an air carrier with more than 1,500 employees is considered large. The number of small air carriers that will be impacted is not known. We expect economic impacts of the rule may be limited because many air carriers are already treating cargo transported from other quarantined States to the protected States.

Under these circumstances, the Administrator of the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service has determined that this action will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.

Executive Order 12372

This program/activity is listed in the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance under No. 10.025 and is subject to Executive Order 12372, which requires intergovernmental consultation with State and local officials. (See 7 CFR part 3015, subpart V.)

Executive Order 12988

This rule has been reviewed under Executive Order 12988, Civil Justice Reform. This rule: (1) Preempts all State and local laws and regulations that are inconsistent with this rule; (2) has no retroactive effect; and (3) does not require administrative proceedings before parties may file suit in court challenging this rule.

Paperwork Reduction Act

This rule contains no new information collection or recordkeeping requirements under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.).

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List of Subjects in 7 CFR Part 301

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Accordingly, we are amending

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PART 301—DOMESTIC QUARANTINE NOTICES

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1. The authority citation for part 301 continues to read as follows:

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

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Section 301.75-15 also issued under Sec. 204, Title II, Public Law 106-113, 113 Stat. 1501A-293; sections 301.75-15 and 301.75-16 also issued under Sec. 203, Title II, Public Law 106-224, 114 Stat. 400 (7 U.S.C. 1421 note).

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2. In § 301.48, paragraph (a) is amended by adding the word “Iowa,” before the word “Kentucky”.

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Done in Washington, DC, this 15th day of June 2006.

Kevin Shea,

Acting Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

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Footnotes

1.  Source: United States Department of Agriculture, National Agricultural Statistics Service, 2002 Census of Agriculture.

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[FR Doc. E6-9728 Filed 6-20-06; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 3410-34-P