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Notice

Notice of Request for Extension of Approval of an Information Collection; Black Stem Rust; Identification Requirements for Addition of Rust-Resistant Varieties

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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 the black stem rust quarantine and regulations.

DATES:

We will consider all comments that we receive on or before October 1, 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-2007-0077 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-2007-0077, 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-2007-0077.

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, Start Printed Page 42373please 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 the black stem rust quarantine and regulations, contact Dr. Vedpal S. Malik, Agriculturist, Emergency and Domestic Programs, PPQ, APHIS, 4700 River Road Unit 134, Riverdale MD 20737; (301) 734-6774. 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: Black Stem Rust; Identification Requirements for Addition of Rust-Resistant Varieties.

OMB Number: 0579-0186.

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

Abstract: The Plant Protection Act (7 U.S.C. 7701 et seq.) authorizes the Secretary of Agriculture to prohibit or restrict the importation, entry, or interstate movement of plants and plant products to prevent the introduction of plant pests into the United States or their dissemination within the United States.

Black stem rust is one of the most destructive plant diseases of small grains that is known to exist in the United States. The disease is caused by a fungus that reduces the quality and yield of infected wheat, oat, barley, and rye crops by robbing host plants of food and water. In addition to infecting small grains, the fungus lives on a variety of alternate host plants that are species of the genera Berberis, Mahoberberis, and Mahonia. The fungus is spread from host to host by wind-borne spores.

The black stem rust quarantine and regulations, contained in 7 CFR 301.38 through 301.38-8 (referred to below as the regulations), quarantine the conterminous 48 States and the District of Columbia and govern the interstate movement of certain plants of the genera Berberis, Mahoberberis, and Mahonia, known as barberry plants. The species of these plants are categorized as either rust-resistant or rust-susceptible. Rust-resistant plants do not pose a risk of spreading black stem rust or of contributing to the development of new races of the rust; rust-susceptible plants do pose such risks.

Persons who request the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service to add a variety to the list of rust-resistant barberry varieties in the regulations must provide the Agency with a description of the variety, including a written description and color pictures that can be used by State nursery inspectors to clearly identify the variety and distinguish it from other varieties. This requirement helps to ensure that State plant inspectors can clearly determine whether plants moving into or through their States are rust-resistant varieties listed in 7 CFR 301.38-2.

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 activity. APHIS needs this outside input to help accomplish the following:

(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 4 hours per response.

Respondents: Nurseries.

Estimated Annual Number of Respondents : 4.

Estimated Annual Number of Responses per Respondent: 2.

Estimated Annual Number of Responses: 8.

Estimated Total Annual Burden on Respondents: 32 hours. (Due to averaging, 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 27th day of July 2007.

Kevin Shea,

Acting Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

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[FR Doc. E7-15009 Filed 8-1-07; 8:45 am]

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