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Imported Fire Ant; Addition of Counties in Arkansas and Tennessee to the List of Quarantined Areas

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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:

Affirmation of interim rule as final rule.

SUMMARY:

We are adopting as a final rule, without change, an interim rule that amended the imported fire ant regulations by designating as quarantined areas all of 2 counties in Arkansas and all or portions of 21 counties in Tennessee. As a result of that action, the interstate movement of regulated articles from those areas is restricted. The interim rule was necessary to prevent the artificial spread of imported fire ant to noninfested areas of the United States.

DATES:

Effective on October 18, 2006, we are adopting as a final rule the interim rule that was published at 71 FR 42246-42249 on July 26, 2006.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Mr. Charles L. Brown, Imported Fire Ant Quarantine Program Manager, Pest Detection and Management Programs, PPQ, APHIS, 4700 River Road, Unit 134, Riverdale, MD 20737-1236; (301) 734-4838.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

The imported fire ant regulations (contained in 7 CFR 301.81 through 301.81-10 and referred to below as the regulations) quarantine infested States or infested areas within States and restrict the interstate movement of regulated articles to prevent the artificial spread of the imported fire ant.

The regulations in § 301.81-3 provide that the Administrator of the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service will list as a quarantined area each State, or each portion of a State, that is infested with the imported fire ant. The Administrator will designate less than an entire State as a quarantined area only under the following conditions: (1) The State has adopted and is enforcing restrictions on the intrastate movement of the regulated articles listed in § 301.81-2 that are equivalent to the interstate movement restrictions imposed by the regulations; and (2) designating less than the entire State will prevent the spread of the imported fire ant. The Administrator may include uninfested acreage within a quarantined area due to its proximity to an infestation or its inseparability from an infested locality for quarantine purposes.

In an interim rule [1] effective and published in the Federal Register on July 26, 2006 (71 FR 42246-42249, Docket No. APHIS-2006-0080), we amended the regulations by adding Perry County and the remainder of Polk County to the list of quarantined areas in Arkansas, and by adding portions of Anderson, Davidson, Gibson, Knox, Rutherford, Tipton, Van Buren, and Williamson Counties to the list of quarantined areas in Tennessee and expanding the quarantined areas in Bedford, Benton, Blount, Carroll, Cumberland, Grundy, Haywood, Hickman, Humphreys, Loudon, Maury, Roane, and Sequatchie Counties, TN.

Comments on the interim rule were required to be received on or before September 25, 2006. We did not receive any comments. Therefore, for the reasons given in the interim rule, we are adopting the interim rule as a final rule.

This action also affirms the information contained in the interim rule concerning Executive Order 12866 and the Regulatory Flexibility Act, Executive Orders 12372 and 12988, and the Paperwork Reduction Act.

Further, for this action, the Office of Management and Budget has waived its review under Executive Order 12866.

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List of Subjects in 7 CFR Part 301

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PART 301—DOMESTIC QUARANTINE NOTICES

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Accordingly, we are adopting as a final rule, without change, the interim rule that amended

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Done in Washington, DC, this 12th day of October 2006.

Kevin Shea,

Acting Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

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Footnotes

1.  To view the interim rule, go to http://www.regulations.gov, click on the “Advanced Search” tab, and select “Docket Search.” In the Docket ID field, enter APHIS-2006-0080, then click “Submit.” Clicking on the Docket ID link in the search results page will produce a list of all documents in the docket.

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[FR Doc. E6-17336 Filed 10-17-06; 8:45 am]

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