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Gypsy Moth Generally Infested Areas; Addition of Areas in Virginia

Document Details

Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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AGENCY:

Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA.

ACTION:

Interim rule and request for comments.

SUMMARY:

We are amending the gypsy moth regulations by adding the Cities of Roanoke and Salem and the Counties of Craig, Giles, and Roanoke in Virginia to the list of generally infested areas based on the detection of infestations of gypsy moth in those areas. As a result of this action, the interstate movement of regulated articles from those areas will be restricted. This action is necessary to prevent the artificial spread of the gypsy moth to noninfested areas of the United States.

DATES:

This interim rule is effective November 17, 2006. We will consider all comments that we receive on or before January 16, 2007.

ADDRESSES:

You may submit comments by either of the following methods:

  • Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http://www.regulations.gov, select “Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service” from the agency drop-down menu, then click “Submit.” In the Docket ID column, select APHIS-2006-0171 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-2006-0171, 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-2006-0171.

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 from 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. Weyman Fussell, Program Manager, Pest Detection and Management Programs, PPQ, APHIS, 4700 River Road Unit 134, Riverdale, MD 20737-1231; (301) 734-5705.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

The gypsy moth, Lymantria dispar (Linnaeus), is a destructive pest of forest and shade trees. The gypsy moth regulations (contained in 7 CFR 301.45 through 301.45-12 and referred to below as the regulations) restrict the interstate movement of regulated articles from generally infested areas to prevent the human-assisted spread of the gypsy moth.

In accordance with § 301.45-2 of the regulations, generally infested areas are, with certain exceptions, those States or portions of States in which a gypsy moth general infestation has been found by an inspector, or each portion of a State that the Administrator deems necessary to regulate because of its proximity to infestation or its inseparability for quarantine enforcement purposes from infested localities. Less than an entire State will be designated as a generally infested area only if: (1) The State has adopted and is enforcing a quarantine or regulation that imposes restrictions on the intrastate movement of regulated articles that are substantially the same as those that are imposed with respect to the interstate movement of such articles; and (2) the designation of less than the entire State as a generally infested area will be adequate to prevent the artificial interstate spread of infestations of the gypsy moth.

Designation of Areas as Generally Infested Areas

Section 301.45-3 of the regulations lists generally infested areas. In this rule, we are amending § 301.45-3(a) by adding two cities and three counties in Virginia to the list of generally infested areas. As a result of this rule, the interstate movement of regulated articles from these areas will be restricted.

We are taking this action because, in cooperation with the State of Virginia, the United States Department of Start Printed Page 66830Agriculture conducted surveys that detected multiple life stages of the gypsy moth in the Cities of Roanoke and Salem and the Counties of Craig, Giles, and Roanoke, VA. Based on these surveys, we determined that reproducing populations exist at significant levels in these areas. Eradication of these populations is not considered feasible because these areas are immediately adjacent to areas currently recognized as generally infested and are, therefore, subject to reinfestation.

Emergency Action

This rulemaking is necessary on an emergency basis because of the possibility that the gypsy moth could be artificially spread to noninfested areas of the United States, where it could cause economic losses due to the defoliation of susceptible forest and shade trees. 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 gypsy moth regulations by adding the Cities of Roanoke and Salem and the Counties of Craig, Giles, and Roanoke in Virginia to the list of generally infested areas based on the detection of infestations of gypsy moth in those areas. As a result of this action, the interstate movement of regulated articles from those areas will be restricted. This action is necessary to prevent the artificial spread of the gypsy moth to noninfested areas of the United States.

The following analysis addresses the economic effects of the interim rule on small entities, as required by the Regulatory Flexibility Act. The interim rule will affect the interstate movement of regulated articles, including forest products (logs, pulpwood, wood chips) and Christmas trees, nursery stock, and mobile homes and outdoor household articles from and through the newly regulated areas. The value of sales of Christmas trees and nursery in the affected areas was $1.7 million, representing much less than 1 percent of the total value of such sales in Virginia.

Treatment costs for growing areas range between $10 and $20 per acre. Fumigation costs, if infestation is found in a shipment, will range between $100 and $150 per truck load. There are at least 27 establishments in the newly regulated cities and counties that produce and ship the regulated articles. Of those, 2 are Christmas tree growers, 10 are nurseries, 10 are loggers/sawmills, and 5 are movers of outdoor household articles. Nearly all of the establishments are considered to be small businesses.

The regulatory requirements resulting from this rule are expected to cause a slight increase in the costs of business for some of the affected entities, but those additional costs are small when compared to the potential for harm to related industry and the U.S. economy as a whole that would result from the spread of the pest. Since the total value of regulated articles moved from regulated areas to non-regulated areas is a small fraction of the State total, the regulatory effect on State and national prices is expected to be very small. Additionally, since the regulations restrict, but do not prohibit, the movement of regulated articles, articles that meet the requirements of the regulations would continue to enter the market. The overall impact upon price and competitiveness is expected to be minor.

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 interim rule contains no 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 issued under Sec. 204, Title II, Public Law 106-113, 113 Stat. 1501A-293; sections 301.75-15 and 301.75-16 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 § 301.45-3, paragraph (a), the entry for Virginia is amended by adding new areas in alphabetical order to read as follows:

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Generally infested areas.

(a) * * *

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Virginia

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City of Roanoke. The entire city.

City of Salem. The entire city.

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Craig County. The entire county.

* * * * *

Giles County. The entire county.

* * * * *

Roanoke County. The entire county.

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Done in Washington, DC, this 14th day of November 2006.

Kevin Shea,

Acting Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

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[FR Doc. E6-19450 Filed 11-16-06; 8:45 am]

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