Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA.
We are advising the public that we have prepared a pest risk analysis that evaluates the risks associated with the importation into the continental United States and Hawaii of sweet cherries from Australia. Based on that analysis, we believe that the application of one or more designated phytosanitary measures will be sufficient to mitigate the risks of introducing or disseminating plant pests or noxious weeds via the importation of sweet cherries from Australia. We are making the pest risk analysis, as well as an environmental assessment we have prepared in connection with this action, available for review and comment.
We will consider all comments we receive on or before December 11, 2007.
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 Docket No. APHIS-2007-0128 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-2007-0128, Regulatory Analysis and Development, PPD, APHIS, Station 3C71, 4700 River Road, Unit 118, Riverdale, MD 20737-1238. Please state that your comment refers to Docket No. APHIS-2007-0128.
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.Start Further Info
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:
Ms. Donna L. West, Senior Import Specialist, Commodity Import Analysis and Operations, Plant Health Programs, PPQ, APHIS, 4700 River Road, Unit 133, Riverdale, MD 20737-1231; (301) 734-8758.End Further Info End Preamble Start Supplemental Information
Under the regulations in “Subpart—Fruits and Vegetables” (7 CFR 319.56 through 319.56-47, referred to below as the regulations), the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) of the U.S. Department of Agriculture prohibits or restricts the importation of fruits and vegetables into the United States from certain parts of the world to prevent plant pests from being introduced into and spread within the United States.
Section 319.56-4 of the regulations contains a performance-based process Start Printed Page 58048for approving the importation of commodities that, based on the findings of a pest risk analysis, can be safely imported subject to one or more of the designated phytosanitary measures listed in paragraph (b) of that section. These measures are:
- The fruits or vegetables are subject to inspection upon arrival in the United States and comply with all applicable provisions of § 319.56-3;
- The fruits or vegetables are imported from a pest-free area in the country of origin that meets the requirements of § 319.56-5 for freedom from that pest and are accompanied by a phytosanitary certificate stating that the fruits or vegetables originated in a pest-free area in the country of origin;
- The fruits or vegetables are treated in accordance with 7 CFR part 305;
- The fruits or vegetables are inspected in the country of origin by an inspector or an official of the national plant protection organization of the exporting country, and have been found free of one or more specific quarantine pests identified by the risk analysis as likely to follow the import pathway; and/or
- The fruits or vegetables are a commercial consignment.
APHIS received a request from the Government of Australia to allow the importation of sweet cherries from Australia into the continental United States and Hawaii. We have completed a pest risk assessment to identify pests of quarantine significance that could follow the pathway of importation into the United States and, based on that pest risk assessment, have prepared a risk management analysis to identify phytosanitary measures that could be applied to the commodity to mitigate the pest risk. We have concluded that sweet cherries can be safely imported into the continental United States and Hawaii from Australia using one or more of the five designated phytosanitary measures listed in § 319.56-4(b). Therefore, in accordance with § 319.56-4(c), we are announcing the availability of our pest risk analysis for public review and comment. The pest risk analysis may be viewed on the Regulations.gov Web site or in our reading room (see ADDRESSES above for instructions for accessing Regulations.gov and information on the location and hours of the reading room). You may request paper copies of the pest risk analysis by calling or writing to the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT. Please refer to the subject of the pest risk analysis when requesting copies. We have also prepared an environmental assessment in connection with this action which is available for review and comment in the same manner as the pest risk analysis.
After reviewing the comments we receive, we will announce our decision regarding the import status of sweet cherries from Australia in a subsequent notice. If the overall conclusions of the analysis and the Administrator's determination of risk remain unchanged following our consideration of the comments, then we will begin issuing permits for importation of sweet cherries from Australia into the continental United States and Hawaii subject to the requirements specified in the risk management analysis.Start Signature
Done in Washington, DC, this 5th day of October 2007.
Acting Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.
[FR Doc. E7-20166 Filed 10-11-07; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3410-34-P